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A Sense of Place

A Sense of Place

I believe that ultimately […] we should take time to explore our local landscape and locate our personal places of power. That we should try to find out how to start a conversation with them.

Barry Patterson – The Art of Conversation with the Genius Loci

I’m currently rereading this book for the third time and, as usual, I couldn’t agree more. This particular sentence always hit me and, oddly enough, it illustrates perfectly what I’ve been up to these past months – at least when I wasn’t sitting at my desk, imagining, drawing and creating some of the good stuff I’ve been accumulating in my Atelier.

In fact, and more than ever before, these two activities have been connected at a very deep and intimate level. I really wanted to reopen the shop sooner, but if I was to work on a new version of it, first I had to go out and walk, explore the woods around, and listen to what the Song of the Wind had to say. It’s always been a great part of my spiritual path as much as the best fuel I know for my creative space. It’s all about getting to know my environment, getting to know the land I live on and its various inhabitants. Getting a sense of place, knowing where and, most importantly, how I belong.

So let me tell you a little about this awesome place I’ve landed on 🙂

If you don’t already know it, I now live in Issaquah, WA with my beloved expat’ tribe, aka my husband and Mr. Pop’cat. And I must say I’m pretty lucky we have found this place in particular. From our home when the sky is clear, you get to see the magnificent Olympic Mountains carving the horizon beyond Seattle. Have a break on the patio outside, look North, and here’s the snowy silhouette of Mount Baker. Finally and much closer, Cougar, Squak and Tiger Mountain are framing the city below, forming what’s known for good reasons as the Issaquah Alps. Those three are my favorites, and my eyes can not help being drawn on their rounded curves lined with evergreens.

I also have to talk about another presence here, one that unfortunately I can’t see directly from my home, but that is nevertheless quite important. Tahoma, or Mount Rainier if you like, a Giant of Fire and Ice who watches over the whole region. The first that captured my attention from the plane when I arrived, giving me this deep sense of awe, a feeling of wonder and reverence that I couldn’t possibly forget. The first that I got to greet in person a couple of weeks after, while hiking in good company on its snowy slopes and trails.

I’ll be honest with you: I’m absolutely in love with this region. I’ve had this feeling since the first day we arrived, that I am home here, that I belong and I’m welcome. Everything seems amplified here, thus the adaptation has been quite hard in some ways. It has required to break some shell, to expose a soft and fragile skin sometimes. Nevertheless, I found a real Sense of Place here, and I’m excited to be able to continue exploring my local landscape in the weeks and months to come, especially now that it is waking up from wintertime. I can’t wait to deepen my relationship with it. I’ve found a Place of Power here, that allowed me to heal, to grieve, to rest, and to start dreaming again.

What’s your relationship with the land you live in? Have you already found your place of personal power there?

On the Threshold

On the Threshold

First of all, let me wish you a happy new year 2019. May it be as sweet as possible, full of enchantment, poetry, and lots of nature walks ♥

Ok, let’s go straight to the question that many of you asked me, with good reason: when will I reopen the shop? Unfortunately, I can’t confirm a specific date yet. For administrative reasons among other things, but mostly because I realized that I didn’t want to go too fast, and rush the launch of Wildera at the risk of missing out on what my wanderings in this new territory could inspire me for the new version of the shop. I’m asking you to be patient, it will eventually happen. Promised.

Administrative delays are one thing, but if I want to be perfectly honest, I also postponed the reopening because of to my state of mind these last few months. Let’s just say that for me personally, 2018 was an absolute chaos. We didn’t go along right from the beginning this year and I, and I’m really glad we finally said goodbye to each other last Monday. Last year was marked by a really exciting opportunity, but it was also a year of mourning, and the uncomfortable mixture of the two brought back a lot of anxieties and blockages, all more difficult than others to understand and overcome.

As explained in my previous post (several weeks ago now), I initially allowed myself to have a bit of a rest, which included moving away from social networks to fully enjoy a season of discovery and exploration of the Pacific Northwest. Then this resting time slowly became a healing time, a much longer one, as you may have noticed. But I accept it now as necessary in my journey, even if it cost me to have to put aside the shop like I did in order to concentrate… well, on myself primarily. Before I even pictured my branches extending in all directions, I had to actually take care of those broken down in the first place, and firmly anchoring my roots in this new landscape.

Nature cycle

There’s been a few months of absence and silence then, for which I hope you will not resent me, or at least not too much. I don’t really have a plan for the future, which does not sound like me at all, and it should surely worry me a little. But I trust this little flame of creativity that I was already talking about last time, that same one that never stopped burning, and allowed me to continue creating almost daily during this long hiatus (yes, it also means that a lot of things have piled up in the new Atelier, and I’ll be able to show them to you before the reopening).

Even in the darkest days of Winter, inspiration has never left me. It’s been quite the opposite actually. Me moving here allowed for a renewal in my spirituality in a way that I didn’t expect. Coming back to the heart of my belief system and practices has reinforced my creativity and my desire to go further and further with the exploration of these two areas, these two essential and interlaced aspects of my existence and daily life.

Exploring the lands of the Living World that surrounds me, just as much as the landscapes of my Inner World. How about that for a New Year “resolution”? Hmm? 🙂