Water, shade and a sense of home


It is hard emotionally to live in a world of uniform space and time. We seek out special places and celebrate special times. ‘Home’ means more than a description of a place; it is where we belong.  Perhaps our whole life is a matter of looking for, or creating, a sense of home.  So, in the heat of what’s left of summer sunshine (we hope!) we may seek cool shade, with the sound of water in a fountain, symbolising and making real a sense of refreshment – as here in the Cathedral square in Frejus, in southern France. To me, life is all about finding such places, points on the map where we can suddenly feel comforted or ‘at home’ and develop a sense of ourselves. Our life is spread over the surface of the globe, like an overlay on a map with particular places taking on special significance for us.

Curiously, I do not choose places in which to feel ‘at home’; they choose me. No doubt they select themselves out of my on-going experience on account of memories stored in my conscious or unconscious mind, but they present themselves quite naturally, as inviting a comfortable rest and a sense of belonging. The world would be a poorer place without them.

That’s partly who I love photography; I can regularly visit places that evoke a sense of home, and in the cold of a winter’s evening recall summer’s heat and the blessing of shade and water.

Norcia – recovering from the quake

Norcia 1The beautiful city of Norcia, in the mountains in the east of Umbria, suffered terribly in the earthquake in 2016, and remains scarred.  In St Benedict’s Square, what remains of the his Basilica is held up by scaffolding, and next to it the beautiful tower of the town hall is dangerously cracked and bound together. And everywhere, modern buildings, too, lie in ruins behind wire and ‘no-entry’ signs.

norcia 3

Yet Norcia wants to be again ‘open for business’ to tourists, and I would recommend a visit to that lovely, but devastated part of Italy. It’s charm remains, even through the scars. And outside the city the fields and mountains are as beautiful as ever…

Norcia 2