I moved house at the beginning of this year so you could argue that I have had plenty of time to get to know my place and my space this year. I did all the usual clearing and cleansing of a new home with incense, sound, clearing the hearth and the modern day ritual of decorating the walls. But something was missing….
I grow up in this part of the world and you would think that is enough to create a sense of belonging. But industrial towns have a different story. My grandparents like many, came here for work making me the second generation of my family to be born to this town. So you see I don’t have lineage here, so does that make me feel like I belong? How do we create a sense belonging?
I think it is a complex set of rites that take place over time. This involves relationships not just to people, but to the land. It is an investment of time, connection and emotions. Life experiences foster a sense of relationship at pivotal moments both within ourselves and with a place. The relationship we develop with the land can be the place we go to express those complex emotions, whether that is the physical home, garden or the town. It can be that favourite place where we take a walk that sooths us. A path that we foster comes to be familiar. Just like a meeting of two minds who become friends, the land becomes the friend as we walk a repetitive path. In this communion we take in the land marks, its contours, and changing aspects in the year. As we walk the thoughts, the words, our emotions are expressed inwardly and outwardly as our feet caress the land beneath us.
At one time we would have had rites and ceremonies that did this purposefully and we would have held the land in sacred reciprocity. When the land becomes sacred to us then we have reached a sense of belong as we feel a connection and value the communion with the land not just to the land. I feel this is when belonging becomes anchored. The words that come to mind when considering anchoring into a place as home are, “what have you planted here?” Is it a deep connection, energetically, emotionally, historically,…..or in reverence and respect as keeper to the land, place and space?
To anchor into a state of belonging is when we feel at home to the land and within ourselves. To truly feel like we belong, is to develop the same state of a relationship to our inner selves.
Belonging is more of a decision to be,
To be home within and where I Am,
I Am home.
For me I feel it is both the internal and external sense of being. One can’t be achieved without the other. Believe me when I say if the outer world is not fitting, the inner one is disturbed. So for me the land and the inner landscape are both important in unison. “What have you planted?” becomes a question of presence of the inner landscape and the outer landscape.