is meant by the sense of a place?
"We are homesick for places, we are reminded of places, it is the sounds and smells and sights of places which haunt us and against which we often measure our present."
"The countryside tends to be seen as humans wish it to be. Anthropocentrics all, we see the landscape from our point of view, and even the entity we call the beauty of the wilderness is simply a happy arrangement of high ground and valley, glacier and river, forest and sky, that fits the unconscious frame of reference that we have for beauty: nature builds the structures, but we provide the composition."
"We live in a makeshift home with a limited tenancy. . . . If you were looking for the ideal place to settle, you might not begin with Earth as your first choice, but life is a matter of compromise, and in any case a celestial estate agent might persuade you that the planet has a number of significant advantages."
". . . man is also a place maker – and ultimately a product of the places he himself has known. . . ."
"This is a book about the qualities of certain natural places which certain men and women have responded to with love. Because the men and women were artists, they have left a record of their encounters with the land for others to see, read, and understand. This is really all that sets them apart – that talented connection between eye, mind, and hand. For all of us have our loved places; all of us have laid claim to parts of the earth; and all of us, whether we know it or not, are in some measure the products of our sense of place."
The concept of a place (topos in Greek) is derived from ancient associations with deities or what Rene Dubos called the genii loci – a metaphysical quality found in a territory that distinguishes it from another, quite different region.
By the 1200s the word was taken into English from the Old French word for a room, enclosure, or spot.
By the mid 1300s the word place in English was used as a substitute for stow & stede, meaning a definite spot, location, or extent or an area.
In the late 1400s the word then referred to an inhabited place, town, or country. And by the 1580s the term referred to a grouping of houses in a town. [etymology of place.]
By that time, the concept of place is closely akin to the Dutch idea of landskyp, from which the English had derived the word landscape.
A view of Delft, and a street therein; Netherlands, Johannes Vermeer's 1660-1661 vision of this historic place.
"Gaia to the Greeks, Terra or Tellus to the Romans, the only known domicile for life is an unstable, not-exactly spherical arrangement of metal, mineral, gas, and water with a molten core, a viscous mantle and a hard but shifting crust. It is for the moment 29 percent rocky surface and 71 percent salt water, but these proportions are subject to small changes over short time scales, and quite big changes if you set the ticking of the clock to intervals of many millions of years."
Christina's World, Andrew Wyeth, 1948: Oil on Canvas, MOMA, NYC.
" . . . at the age of about ten, I did something that I suppose a million others have done: I wrote my name in an exercise book, along with my house number and street. I then added the name of the suburb, and the city. Then, for good measure, I named the administrative region in which my city stood, and just to make sure, the country. And then –where did I imagine I might lose this book, and who would find it? – I wrote 'the Earth', and just in case that wasn't precise enough, I added 'the solar system'. . . and appended 'the universe'.
The significance of plants in defining a place and creating
For example plants need soil, moisture, sunlight and
nutrients to live. By living these plants and plant communities produce oxygen which is used by anything
on earth that needs to respire. This oxygenated air is a gift in that as the plant's by-product
oxygen is given off in the process of making sugar with water, light, and carbon dioxide.
The giant Sequoia tree
of the Sierra Nevada mountains, California, like all plants provides several benefits by growing, but clearly identifies a particular place.