I think continuity is important--a place that, no matter what other things change in life: homes, schools, work, people--having at least a singular place that holds fast and sure in the midst of change offers us grounding. Continuity of place provides a link to our past, to our memories, and to our formation. It connects us to sights and smells, creaky doors and familiar paintings that hang on walls.
For the first eighteen years of my life The Cape was Hyannisport, where a cousin had a summer home and where we were invited to come for our vacations. It is where I learned to row a boat, and eventually, by paying attention, to sail. It was during those visits with Mer (as we called her--her initials were MER) that I learned from her how to do needlepoint. It was there that my grandmother taught me to use my right foot on both the accelerator and brake when driving, in the event that I ever drove a car with a standard transmission and needed my left foot for the clutch. It was there that we stood at the edge of the yard overlooking the harbor and watched Marine One fly into the Kennedy Compound when JFK was president.
a favorite picture, not sure why!When Mer sold the house visits to the Cape shifted to camping expeditions, and then rentals in other locations. Where we lay our heads may have changed, but The Cape was familiar, and any place on it felt like home. Maybe it was the smell of the sea, the sound of wind through the scrub brush, or the prickly stems of beach plums. Maybe it was the architecture, or the constant presence of sand on our feet, or the names of the towns that reflected its lineage to Indian habitations that made it feel like one huge neighborhood. No matter. It is a place that holds a piece of my soul, and where a part of me was set free.
For many years Mom was at The Cape over Labor Day weekend, and when I lived close enough to visit her there I took advantage of that opportunity. Now I revel in memories and fondness, and give thanks that my life held the opportunity to know and enjoy that special place.
What about you. Is there a place of continuity in your life that brings peace to your heart?