Pont du Gard

Personal Geography

I recently returned to a childhood place where my family had swims and picnics on hot summer days. I didn’t need the GPS to get there as my entire being remembered the way to the Pont du Gard.

Shadow of bridge on the landscape below
Shadow of the bridge on the river below

I rely on maps to navigate places I do not know. I study them and trust them to take me where I need to go. And I know that when I step off the path to follow my inner compass, I take the chance to get lost, and yes, I have gotten desperately lost. Yet, like a migratory bird traveling between familiar places, I can sense my way and find the course again. Some say we are never lost.

It has been my life’s journey to travel, study, work, and love in other lands, and personal geographies are etched in my body. I remember well where my heart was broken and where my spirit soared. 

Maps are a visual guide to the places we have been, the people, the stories, and the journey. Some localities have been welcoming, kind and generous to us. Others much less so. We can speak of feeling empowered or disempowered, and if there are “power places,” we imply that there are places of less power to sustain us there. Emotions and sensations color our experiences. It is easy to enjoy a lovely place when we feel vibrant with life. It becomes more complicated when sorrow, grief, or confusion color our experience. How do we make sense of all this?

It doesn’t matter whether you have traveled the world from the north to the south poles or if you have simply crossed your town and changed neighborhoods; you have explored your world. Here we take the time to shape the journey more consciously.


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