Don't miss the photo gallery at the end of each post.

Genius Loci – Spirit of Place

Dramatic landscape, Ireland. - WCF-7309.jpgOur travels have taken us many places old and ancient, places of history, mysticism, religion, and lore. Some are places of nature and the environment like mountains, forests or gardens, and others are man-made like ancient ruins, stone circles or cathedrals.

Muckross Abbey - Killarney National Park - WCF-8274.jpgOften these places are given supernatural qualities, a fanciful conviction to which I do not subscribe. Rather for us they are a connection to the past, especially the history of the people who, for whatever reason, found connections between the physical aspects of a place, the unseen threads of their shared culture, and the interpersonal aspects of their families, friends and kindred spirits that makes such places inspiring and important.

Indeed, in that regard, the term “genius loci”, Latin for the spirit or guardian deity of a place, takes on a special meaning. One’s imagination cannot help but to linger on the concept of peoples who, centuries upon centuries earlier, undertook projects that remain today. Dereenataggart Stone CircleWhether those purposes were clear or are a mystery, when we sit within a stone circle that is 4-5000 years old, a Roman theater from the first century AD, or a cathedral over 1000 years old we cannot help but feel the spirit of the place, a connection to humans not very different from us.

For Jeannie and I as we no longer have a “place”, we have come to identify and embrace many locations that we have called home. Each has come to have special meanings to us, mostly because of the connections we have made with the people we have encountered … and maybe also because we have been accepted by the “genius loci” of the place.


This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Really nice piece of writing.
    Ya’lls depth is always in the relevant present tense no matter where you are.
    The wonder of your perception never ceases to bring smiles to this reader.

  2. I enjoy this! Left me with a very peaceful feeling.

  3. Fascinating places and pictures. Amazing how old these places are.

  4. Well, they do say that home is where the heart is.

    I find that pieces of my heart have been left in several places; Pont du Gard and Arles – as pointed out here – are two, other examples (that you know) could be Strasbourg’s wonderful cathedral and Gudhem Abbey ruins near Lake Hornborga, Sweden. And of course several chunks were left in Florida …

    Best regards,


  5. Wow! I can’t believe it just gets better and better!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.