No Free Horses!

No Free Horses!
Shiloh - a rescued horse (date was 7/14)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Sense of Place . . .

I am intrigued by the different blogs and the way many of them convey a true sense of place -- a belonging and purpose . . . environments of activity and learning and sharing that draw me in and educate me about the things that make those environments "home."  They support the adage:  "Home is where the heart is."

Over the past year or more, especially over the past few months, I have thought deeply about life and purpose and place . . .

Growing up in a military family and moving and living all over the country, I know the reality of being able to find both good and bad, beauty and ugliness, a sense of belonging and loneliness, purpose and drifting in every place I've lived.

Often in my life, I had no choice about where I wanted to live or even how I wanted to live . . . I learned to adapt to different living situations out of necessity . . .

and I determined that when I had my own family, I would provide ONE place where my kids could grow and learn and belong . . . and get a sense of community that I never had . . . maybe something like the aura portrayed by "THE WALTONS" television show.

Imagine my surprise when after schooling and job searches each of my children ended up in a different part of the country!

My sense of purpose changed dramatically when they left.  I still had a job and horses and friends there . . . but chose to leave for warmer climes and to follow a dream.  Thereafter followed the happiest years of my life (so far) . . .

Due to circumstances beyond my control, my dream and sense of purpose was radically altered three years ago . . . and . . .  I find myself, again, at a place in the journey where I can choose to move or stay, thus, my renewed focus on the value "PLACE" plays in our lives . . . and the value of "RELATIONSHIPS" . . .

A visitor asked me recently said, "Why would you want to move?  You have a lovely home here and you've done so much work on the property."

and my instant heart-response was, "I know . . . but it's just a place . . . " and I know in my heart that without a sense of fulfillment of purpose and relationships, that a place is just that . . .

                      and places are for LIVING . . .
                      they are like skeletons without the flesh . . .  
                      frames without the pictures . . .

A Place is not Life.   It's merely a setting provided for life to happen . . . and, for me, Life is about relationships, and learning and sharing and working and growing with people who share a similar purpose and philosophy . . .

Thus, I find myself at a point of choosing . . . to stay and wait and work and hope for the people and purpose to materialize, or to leave and move forward seeking and hoping . . . either way, I need to be in an environment that will provide the elements of purpose that come from working with horses and with people who have a similar passion for teaching and learning about life and horses . . . .

What do you think?

What is required for any of us to have that sense of belonging?  What is it that draws our hearts to certain places?  Poignant memories?  Hopes for fulfilling employment?  Dreams of possible relationships? 

What gives us our sense of place? 


  1. I just dropped by from Ozland and I really like this post, I'm sure I'll be pondering it all day. I for one feel a relationship with the land I'm presently on but that doesn't mean I wouldn't move if I felt a call elsewhere. If other relationships changed for me I'd surely follow but feel I'd never sell this property, somehow I feel like it's guardian as much as I feel it is mine. I have been here, well rooted for a while though & often wonder what else their might be out there, what opportunities are waiting to be explored if I just chose to venture beyond my comfort zone.

  2. Thank you for your thoughts, Maria. How nice to meet you.
    I have some of the same emotions about this place as you describe for your place. Something in me, at this point in my life, resists being "owned" by a place . . . although if I choose to stay, that's another matter. I am wondering if I need to just "bloom where I'm planted" or go transplant myself to find what seems to be lacking.
    Love your donkey! ;)

  3. I think sometimes it's difficult to get too attached to a place. Even though I love my new home, I don't think it will be the end-all place in my life. It just seems there are too many beautiful places in the vast US of A to be explored, to be experienced, beyond just what a short vacation offers.

    This place where I live at the moment is everything my heart desired before I moved here... it offers me the isolation that I think I craved at this point in my life. And yet I know that very isolation will not always be what I need - our needs are constantly evolving, ever-changing.

    I DO regret that I was land-locked in Ohio far too long. Those are long-gone years that could have been spent exploring and experiencing other vistas. I'm sure this second part of my life will provide me with more opportunities to do what I want, and be where I want to be at any given point in time.

    I think what draws us to certain places is our dream of what could be... what new and different direction our life could go. I think change is enriching, and always good, even if after any given experience we look back and view it as a failure, because we always, always learn something from our failures. They often help us adjust our direction, fine-tune it, so that we go where our heart wants to go.

    It will become clearer to you Holly... time will point you where you need to go!! :-)

  4. (((((((((((((((((((Suz)))))))))))))))))))
    Thank you. I just came in from chores and walking and praying . . . and am confident that the decision to leave or stay will become clear soon. I know I have the courage to leave(dealt with all that when I left Vermont) but have no clear direction on where to go . . . and that is something I'd need to know . . .
    Thank you for caring and sharing!
    Enjoy the day! Oh, MY . . . not the kind of day I want to spend in the office. :(


Thank you for connecting with me by sharing your thoughts . . . it's one way friendships grow!