A Sense of Place Needs Presence

Or maybe it doesn’t for everybody. But I had to go all the way to the Green River in Utah to remember why a sense of place is even important. After 7 days in the Canyonlands, floating at river speed, my head and heart gradually aligned themselves to the landscape. I slowed down and time became all of one piece.

Now I am back and looking at the same face of Infinity I did with those ancient rocks, the Salish Sea itself. And without vacation, without a canoe and a reason to float, I am trying to breathe back the feeling of presence that filled me on our float trip.

People often think island life is quiet and perhaps full of solitude. That is no doubt true for many people. But not for me. My life here is fragmented between social engagements, trying to stay fit, trying to eat local and do the right thing, trying to keep our Grange alive, connecting with family and friends, and of course, the one that always falls through the cracks, nurturing creativity.

When I first moved here, I remember having the feeling of being on a boat. Our rock island, completely surrounded by sea water. I could feel the tides move, and sensed the mysterious and miraculous moods of this amazing ecosystem.  Now I remind myself how lucky I am to live here but so many things interfere with really feeling that. The language of Nature is so very different from the frenetic words and actions of humans. I know what I need to do. It is profoundly simple and one of the most difficult things I can imagine. Slow down. I don’t need to be in charge of the world.  I do need to feel, and be in, its wonder.


2 comments on “A Sense of Place Needs Presence

  1. Phil says:

    Welcome back to island time. Slowing down, at least for some of us, comes naturally here. My crowds just left for the day so it's just me, the meadow with the colors of the rainbow, the birds singing the rites of spring, and the seals snorting every time they get a nose full from the latest boat wake. Talk about infinity? How many springs has this island seen this same senario? Okay, infinity is a really long time but the passing black oystercatchers just told me it is has been millenia. So enjoy; this is the pace life was meant to lived.

  2. anita says:

    Substitute Textile Guild and Soroptimists for Grange (or add them to it) and the paragragh about fragmented time could have been written by/for me. I dream of having the time to create a basket. Maybe in June . . .

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