Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Spirit of the Place

The Spirit of the Place. When my daughter graduated from college she said, “I don’t know where to live. Where should I go to live?” I answered her that the place chooses you, but you don’t pick the place. If the place doesn’t love you, then it doesn’t matter how much you want to live there. This was Boston for me – lived there for six years and loved it, loved it, but Boston never loved me back. Same thing happened to my son when he moved to San Francisco several years ago – wanted to live there, but San Francisco spurned his affection.

Myself, I look at the great Skagit Valley and realize this is so – the spirit of the place, not any particular people, but the place itself says – this ain’t your home. The mistake I make is judging a place by its scenery. The Skagit Valley just looks so pretty. But if I was interested in a woman, should I choose the prettiest one?

Not a good idea. It’s nice to be good-looking, whether it’s your partner or the place that you live, but it can’t be one of the important qualities. It’s the soul of the place that matters. A landscape has character just like a human being, and what you see with your eyes is not important. It’s what you see when your eyes are closed that tells the real story.

Scenery is what you do on vacation, but it isn’t home.

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