Tomorrow we head home again. We took five days to get to northern Indiana. We’ve had five days here. We will take five days to get home again. Yesterday I had this sense that it was time.
Place is an interesting thing, however. Our home in New Mexico is “place” to us. We have lived there five years. We feel at home there. It is the place to which we return when we leave. Our stuff is there. Our workplaces are there. We feel like we belong there. On the other hand, we have both spent a lot of time in northern Indiana. We have family here. Both of my parents grew up here. Karisse would love to retire to this area, buy 10 acres outside of town, and raise a big garden, a few chickens and goats and a bunch of fruit trees. This is “place” to us as well. Our oldest son and his wife are in Ecuador hiking in the mountains. We spent many years there as a couple. Ecuador is “place” to us also.
“Place” is a few squares on the face of the earth where for one reason or other the soil is familiar to our feet, the air is comfortable in our lungs, and the people around us are not strangers. Anywhere can become “place,” but not all places do. We are not capable of knowing “place” in every place with equal familiarity–we don’t live long enough. We are given instead places in which to know “place” so that any place can become “place” when we need it. We are given these places to let us know also that every place is “place” to someone, and therefore as sacred to them as we hold our “places” to be for us.