The Legacy of Place

My wife, son, and I are fortunate enough to live in the same house my grandparents owned since the 1950’s.  I was very close to my grandparents and spent a lot of time in the house in my childhood.  Each part of the house and its yard is filled with numerous memories and stories.

Because my grandparents’ house was closer to my school, my mother would often bring me to their house in the morning and I would walk or ride my bike through the woods to school, first to Forest Grove Elementary School and then to Pacific Grove Middle School.

Recently my son started kindergarten at Forest Grove Elementary School.  For his first day of school, my wife, son, and I all walked together along the same path through the woods.  It is very special to me that my son is literally following in my footsteps.  

Forest Grove Elementary School is another sacred place in my childhood.  Three levels of playgrounds surrounded by the forest, inspiring teachers, and great friends created wonderful experiences that defined my adolescence.  I am excited for my son to have similar experiences that he will treasure for his entire life.

Place is important to the human experience.  Wuthering Heights, The Mill on the Floss, and Howards End all center upon the notion that a place is often a character in the stories of our lives and can have as much of an impact on our lives as other persons.  

I feel a sense of wonderment when I visit Lambeau Field in Green Bay.  Standing at the end zone on the Lambeau Field tour, I think about the fact that “right there” is where Bart Starr ran the football in for a quarterback sneak to win the 1967 NFL Championship, commonly referred to as the “Ice Bowl.”  Even though the game took place more than a decade before I was born, I have seen the video clip of that famous play enough times to almost convince myself that I attended the game.  

I realize that the sod, grass, and chalk lines are not the same as on the famous day in 1967.  However, I tell myself that I’m standing near the same geographical coordinates as where Bart Starr completed one of the most famous plays in Packer history.  That concept means something to me.

I have yet to visit the Lake District in England but when I eventually make that journey, I’m going to try to find those daffodils “fluttering and dancing in the breeze” by that lake that William Wordsworth writes about in I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.  I would love to make an expedition in the Catskills Mountains of New York in search of the cantilevered rock by the waterfall as depicted in my favorite painting, Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits.  

Estate planning is, in the broad sense, about passing a legacy to the next generation.  For many people, that legacy often includes sacred places such as the family residence, the family vacation house, a ballpark, a favorite travel destination, or simply a place to watch the sunset.  In some cases, like in the example of my grandparents’ house, the passing of one sacred place (their home) can enable the passing of another sacred place (the local elementary school).  

With thoughtful estate planning, not only can certain places be passed to future generations, but the sacred sense of place can also be admired and enjoyed by loved ones for years to come.

KRASA LAW, Inc. is located at 704-D Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, California and Kyle may be reached at 831-920-0205831-920-0205.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only.  Reading this article does not establish an attorney / client relationship.  Before acting upon any of the information presented in this article, you should consult with a competent attorney who is licensed to practice law in your community.