"A sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.” —Rebecca Solnit
A Little Place of My Own
My most recent home resided on the border of two very different worlds. Northampton, Mass was in no way a town out in the middle of no where, however it did have its patches of wilderness. I could look out my front window and see a world molded by mankind, I could then, just as easily, turn around and look out my back window to see a wilderness practically untouched by man.
No matter how many times I have moved I have always been surrounded by civilization. Northampton is no different. I can bike to school through neighborhoods, not once out of sight of a house. I could throw a rock over my neighbors’ house from my own, and I can see at least ten others from just my front yard. However, this time I have the forest and marsh behind my house.
On most days after a long day surrounded by walls I would get home and go lie in a hammock I set up in the woods. I could lie in that hammock and read a book for hours, where if I tried to read the same book on a couch in my house or in the library I would start falling asleep within half an hour into the book. If I did fall asleep in that hammock it would be one of the best naps I have ever had. I would love to sleep in the hammock in the woods, if not for the mosquitoes. It just made me feel free.
When I was feeling more adventurous I would take my dogs and go deeper into the woods. We have found many things in the back woods. Everything from bears to deer to porcupines. On one trip we were walking and all of a sudden the world seemed to open up and just say welcome to paradise. The marsh was just so full of life. I would go to this spot where I could see the whole marsh and just sit on a rock with my dogs and just enjoy life.