Sense of Place has been described as a sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by a combination of memory and special awareness. It’s a sense of home that we all carry with us. It’s got a lot to do with nature, where we’re from and our upbringing. It’s also a unifying factor amongst people, at times perhaps best represented in Ireland through the GAA and the tribal loyalty to the club and the area it represents.
Sometimes you don’t actually have to be physically born somewhere to have a sense of place about it. Look at our second generation American emigrants for example and whilst we may sometimes have a little laugh to ourselves at, what may seem to us to be, almost a stage Irishness, for them the auld sod really does feel like home. They have heard about it and learnt about it down through the years from their Irish born ancestors so they are indoctrinated into their place. Their different and sometimes outdated image of Ireland has been fashioned from memories that traverse down through the decades. Sometimes in these memories time has stood still so it’s an image of bygone Ireland that has been passed on, but so what it’s still their place.
A sense of place allows us to dream and can sustain us in troubled times. It can be a refuge for us, a place of sanctuary in a world that at times looks as if it’s gone mad. It’s somewhere to escape to, either physically or mentally, but it allows us rest ourselves mentally and gather ourselves together for whatever’s next, whether that be just the mundane daily rituals of life or a larger challenge.
A sense of place lifts your mood and helps to relax you. Think about your own special place and it brings a smile to your face as the memories come flooding back and you look forward to when you can be there again.
A sense of place is important to keep us grounded and being grounded helps us to cope better with life’s ups and downs and become more resilient.
Some people though have difficulty in finding their own sense of place and all I can say to you is keep looking and one day it will just click with you and you will realise that here is it, this is what they meant when they spoke about a sense of place.
We in Ignite can’t help you find your sense of place but we can help you in other areas, such as personal development, as you continue your journey through life. Feel free to contact us if you want to find out more.