The Spirit of the Land and Identity

Have you ever felt truly at home where you live?

You may or may not realize it in the beginning but you never really truly miss a place until you go away for some time and reminisce about hanging out at your old haunts, revisiting old places where you had memories, and maybe seeing important, meaningful people from your past.

I’m explicitly talking about my growing up in North Carolina. It’s a beautiful state with a lot of green and many places to take in sightseeing opportunities to sightsee and let yourself go with nature. Being out in the wild helps me think. It puts me in a meditative state and it helps me connect and ground with myself.

North Carolina is a lot of things. Good, bad, and ugly. But that’s everywhere. The special meaning that NC holds for me is the people and the places where I met them. They are the memories and energies that ground me in my mind whenever I am in the toughest of life’s ruts and whenever I need to meditate on something. I throw my mind’s eye back into the places that gave me a feeling of belonging and empowerment. Whether it be a small café with a couple close friends, a solitary venture out into the woods to commune with the spirits, or the river where my element runs wild.

What describes the atmosphere of a region or place?

Well, the term  I know of is genius loci or the atmospheric spirit of a region or place.

I’ve been out in the mountainous Western parts of North Carolina during my teenage years and college years. The natural beauty of North Carolina is captivating and it reels you in with the vastness of a forest or the feeling of empowerment standing on top of a hill or mountain looking down on everything with peace. It was nice to get away on those weekend day trips after a grueling week of studying and examinations.

When I started practicing my craft, I relied heavily on connecting with the land.

Exploring a forest or nature trail or even visiting a river helped me develop my connection and crafting my practice. Even exploring around the city helped (Greensboro was where I went to college and it was a smaller city but had some hidden gems and places to just get lost in and be one with yourself, and maybe find a few unexpected friends along the way).

The atmosphere of home in NC helped me grow as a person and be at peace with myself.

However,  moving to California after graduation disconnected me from the land I grew up in and in turn has had me in a rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts. I miss home.

California is nice; however, as much as I’ve tried to find my place here it just isn’t the same. Who knows? Maybe I have yet to find a tribe or group of people to truly connect with.

The only people I know here in California is family and unfortunately they’re not inclined toward Paganism or any alternative form of spirituality.

I’m holding on to hope that I find good people to be with here in California.

Graduating college seven months ago was just the beginning of my journey in life. Maybe California has its own charms to show me along the way in the next year or so? I’m trying to keep myself open to opportunities and people.

If I want to keep growing and moving forward, I have to find a way to connect with California as well whether it be through interacting with people, visiting landmarks, finding places unknown to me.

Venturing out is one more step to finding that independence and personal spirituality that I fiercely pursue.

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