Friendship with a place

We intuitively know that maintains friendship matters. A better way to say that: being a friend matters.

Being friends happens in places. It’s for this reason that I think maintaining friendship with places matters, too. There’s a bit of dialogue in C.S. Lewis’s “Space Trilogy” that has stuck with me since first reading it a few years ago:

And in that seeping inner silence of which his face bore witness, one might have believed that he listened continually to a murmur of evasive sounds: rustling of mice and stoats, thumping progression of frogs, the small shock of falling hazel nuts, creaking of branches, runnels trickling, the very growing of grass. The bear had closed its eyes. The whole room was growing heavy with a sort of floating anæsthesia. …

Dr. Ransom: “…that cannot be done any longer. The soul has gone out of the wood and water. Oh, I daresay you could awake them; a little. But it would not be enough. A storm, or even a river flood would be of little avail against our present enemy. Your weapon would break in your hands.”

These are differing attitudes toward place; differing attitudes born of different times from characters in a book that definitely deserves reading. It’s much tougher to hear the murmur of evasive sounds, the rustling, the floating anesthesia that makes a place special and distinctive. It’s much easier to imagine that place doesn’t matter, and to train ourselves to be blind or deaf to the realities of a place.