“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 29 November 2013

A Sense of Place

A few days ago, I spent the day exploring the land around Pendle Hill in Lancashire with my good friend. It is a new part of the world for me, and very beautiful, with its narrow winding roads bordered by dry stone walls, the autumn gold, yellow, green, orange, brown and bronze of the fields and trees, and the deep, deep blue of the sky.

image: www.fatgoatwalks.co.uk

And always, wherever we were, Pendle Hill, there in the background (or the foreground). It is a very distinctive part of the landscape.

The thing I found most interesting was how grounded my friend felt, here in her own place. I have never seen her so relaxed and settled. It is fascinating how much of an influence a place can have on a person. Sometimes it is only when we see people "on their native heath" that we see them whole. And it is something I feel in myself too - for example, as soon as I come within a couple of miles of the Nightingale Centre and Great Hucklow, I can feel a deep peace begin to settle within me. It is very much my spiritual home, the place where I feel at rest.

As usual, John O'Donohue says it best: "When you find a place in nature where your mind and heart find rest, then you have discovered a sanctuary for your soul. ...Perhaps nature senses the longing that is in us, the restlessness that never lets us settle. She takes us into the tranquillity of her stillness if we visit her. We slip into her quiet contemplation and inhabit for a while the depth of her ancient belonging. ... Nature calls us to tranquillity and rhythm. When your heart is confused or heavy, a day outside in nature's quiet eternity restores your lost tranquillity."


  1. Ooh yes - the Chalice Well in Glastonbury feels like that for me :)

    Also, anywhere that has chalk for its underlying geology.

  2. For me it is Somerset. Especially the immediate change in the landscape after crossing the Avonmouth Bridge.