Saturday, May 7, 2011

Remembering The Atmosphere

Recently I was reminded of a use for the word 'atmosphere'. The second definition below is the one I mean.

From Merriam-Webster

Definition of ATMOSPHERE

1a: the gaseous envelope of a celestial body (as a planet)
b : the whole mass of air surrounding the earth

2: the air of a locality

3: a surrounding influence or environment

4: a unit of pressure equal to the pressure of the air at sea level or approximately 14.7 pounds per square inch (101,325 pascals)

5a: the overall aesthetic effect of a work of art
b : an intriguing or singular tone, effect, or appeal

I cannot describe what or even how I feel when I sense a very different atmosphere at a particular location. Words fail me. But it is there and of that I have no doubt.

The wedding in England last weekend reminded me of the incredible atmosphere I sensed in Westminster Abbey many years ago. All of those old names suddenly became alive to me as I gazed in wonder at, for example -

The only other place that has done that to me was the battlefield at Gettysburgh PA. We visited there back in 2001 (before I had ever seen the Ted Turner movie!). It was a very sobering time and I still have vivid, treasured memories of both places.

Have you ever visited a place like these?

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