A sense of place. Something people have talked about.
It is a pretty simple idea really. It is knowing a place. But not just knowing it like you know a fact or two. It's knowing it on a personal, intimate, sensual, physical level. It is knowing where the hills are in a place and the low spots - those carved ravines and creeks and rivers that wind through and cut down into the earth where we live. To know how steep a river bank is or a ravine or to know with your breath and body and legs how high a hill is- the one that some people climb to watch the sunset or to stack rocks in significant shapes.
Gary Snyder the California poet from the Yuba River drainage says, “Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.”
Gary's words speak to me and I also feel a certain kinship with his place because it is in some respects my place as well - the Yuba Drainage in California's Gold Country. Gary lives out on San Juan Ridge and I was and still am a "townie" living up the left bank.
Know the trees, the flowers, the insects, the mammals, the landforms. I can do this through naming these things and giving them labels and I can also take the path of relationship and relatedness - of knowing the smells, the sounds, the calls, the feelings. Enter into a sense-based, a sensual relationship.
I do this through my sense perceptions. I ground into the Earth and soak in, allowing it to grow up inside of me.
I do this through mindful sitting, walking, and breathing.
I feel that connection. I am that connection.
I am part of everything. I am nature, watching and marveling at myself.