Over the weekend, we enjoyed a lovely afternoon, relaxing and catching up with a cousin visiting from overseas while soaking up sunshine, margaritas and lunch on the outdoor deck of a favorite restaurant. Our conversation turned to the topic of homesickness and how we can experience an underlying restlessness or melancholy when we don’t feel a deep connection to the area where we live, when it doesn’t feel like our true home. Since then, I’ve been thinking further about how vital a sense of place is to our well-being and feeling grateful that we’re currently living in a location to which I am strongly connected. As mentioned in an older post, we love the Monterey Peninsula similarly to loving a person. I’ve had to move away from here twice and felt extremely homesick until I returned each time. I’ve lived in many other locations where I felt a sense of nagging transience. Undoubtedly, this is home. A sense of place, a sense of belonging, comfort and centeredness.
How wonderful it is to also enjoy experiences eliciting a similar sense of place when visiting or vacationing in other areas that “speak” to us, visualizing a peaceful environment in our mind, being drawn into an image of a spot that beckons to us, even admiring or creating an artistic rendition of a real or imaginary place that calms and centers us. In a past post, I mentioned how our homes can be transformed into havens by surrounding ourselves with souvenirs and items reminding us of positive memories and associations. Photographs, prints and paintings that evoke a sense of place can also enhance our surroundings and perhaps soothe our homesickness if we happen to be somewhere that isn’t truly home to us. When I was frequently away from home on business travel, I often tucked local beach and scenic vacation photos in my daily planner and took a peek at them when I needed to feel grounded.
Where I feel a sense of place and peace…
|At home on the Monterey Peninsula...on the beach|
|Spending time amidst the magnificent beauty of Big Sur|
|On the magical island of Kauai|
|In the coastal area and small town of Pescadero between Half Moon Bay & Santa Cruz|
|In the desert at Joshua Tree (yes, I can find a sense of place inland, too!)|