Monday, August 30, 2010

Your environment influences you subtly (and sometimes not so subtly).

The Land matters. Where you live, How you live, The culture with which you surround yourself, Matters.

Your environment influences you subtly. This is one of the reasons I love living in New Orleans. It is a wonderful mix of Old World and New World. We have strong European influences. These influences tend to be from the French, Spanish, German, Italian primarily Sicilian cultures. We have strong African influences a result of the period of slavery. We have, in American, unique mixtures of European and African influences in the legacy of the French Code Noir. We have American Indian influences mingling with African influences. We have the Cajuns who came to Louisiana in the 1700s.

This place and its unique melange of history makes for an open and interesting life. It has an interesting way of existing "between the worlds", slightly out of phase with the rest of the world. This protects us. So some would say it isolates us and insulates us and makes us backwards. But in many ways we are so far behind we are head. We still have a walkable city with unique neighborhoods. We support local businesses and miss them when they are gone. We don't mind being silly. Or being perceived as unusual. We dance in the face of death. Our jazz funerals are a unique combination of a Irish funeral dirge and African dance. Where else could this have happened?

Can you imagine another city on the planet that, in 2005, could have been completely emptied of every citizen by hurricane followed by an engineering disaster that would have had so many people WANT to return? It's amazing. Some would say foolhardy, others magical.

Where ever you live take the time to know your landscape. Sure this means climate, geography, etc. But it should also include history of the place. Nature (climate, location, geography) influences "Place" but so do the imprints left by history. Get to know these as well. Knowing yourself is part of what it takes to make a witch. So is knowing the place where you live.

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