I am more acutely aware of the significance of place, having moved three times in the past three years. My parents left my childhood home about six years ago now, so that, too, is only a place I visit in my memory and dreams.
A sense of place invites us to let go of the breath we are holding and come to ground. It makes space for us just as we are and imbues us with a sense of safety and belonging.
Much of my coaching work revolves around the concept of coming home to ourselves - coming back from all the expectations that we or others have put upon us, and inhabiting the realness of the imperfectly-perfect person we actually are.
It reminds me of the Derek Walcott poem, Love After Love:
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome…
Mid-life seems to be a time when we begin to hear the calls of home, calling us back from our adventures into otherness, perhaps an identity wrapped up in a role we play or a career path laden with unfulfilled promises and unfulfilling work.
Fall feels like the season of coming home to me. Perhaps because the leaves are returning again to the humus, and the animals are busy preparing their winter burrows. We are approaching the season of turning inward.
Sometimes I see things in the mirror that make me squirm. A short-tempered response or a feeling of inadequacy - I resist the urge to scamper away or distract myself.
Coming home means welcoming the uncomfortable parts to the table, too.
There is room for all of it. I imagine a soft blanket encircling my shoulders, and my body relaxes.
I am welcome here. I am at home.
What does "a sense of place" bring up for you? What are you inhabiting in this moment? What would it look like to turn towards home?
Jessica Curtis is a professional life coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.