I had a discussion with someone the other day about "sacred places". Now I'm not talking about "sacred" as in a religious context, but rather those places in your life that somehow changed you in a very real and very positive way. These are the places where part of you will always reside.
In thinking about what I would consider to be a sacred place, I came up with two:
Penn State Harrisburg
This is where I discovered that the world was a bigger place. It's also where I discovered that I was really capable of growing and changing as a person. The latter is a lesson that I forgot for many years. Anyway, every few years I feel compelled to return to the campus, just to soak up the vibe and relive those days in the dorm and my time in Meade Heights. The campus has changed dramatically over the years, but the vibe is still the same. I love that place. I hope to be able, one day, to give something more significant back the university, over and above what I currently give.
I was pondering this a few months ago. Where I work is really sacred to me. I've spent something like 22 years there, which is almost half my life. Throughout personal crisis and turmoil, the office has always been this constant, this place that has been predictable and stable (well stable relative to the rest of my life that is); it has been something of a home. Note that I view work "the place" as being different than work "my employer". The company that owns the place might change, the people in charge have definitely changed, but the hallways have remained the same.
Note that I'm not shy in dishing out constructive criticism of my employer, but I always defend the place, as it deserves to be respected.