We are beloved companions on a mystic journey, sharing our solitude and holding the world in the divine prayer of love.

"Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory. Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance. And transform your whole being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation."
- from St. Clare's third letter to Blessed Agnes of Prague.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sacred Place

Where we live is sacred. This range of mountains. The valley. This particular hill we call Sunshine. At the beginning of the year 2000 I first saw it rising above Huckel Hollow--its moss covered oaks, its towering pines and fir, and the simple yellow house--and my heart quickened, knowing this place. How does that happen? With people we call it 'love at first sight.' Something calls, heart to heart. Earth has a heart; of course it does. Earth's heart calls, and if we respond a commitment is made, belonging occurs. That place is a threshold into wholeness: self within earth within cosmos within the Holy Ground of all Being--the Limitless, the Nameless the One.

This morning I looked out the the large windows up towards the ridge from which the deer come to graze and in summer to eat the roses. How many places in my life sustain this commitment for me? Where did I connect to nature so intensely that it became a commitment and a contemplation of myself in it and it in me, then the flowing of the wholeness into the Limitless?

The first (and it remains with me, as all the sacred places do) was the lake in Minnesota (Lake of the Woods) where awareness opened my eyes. I can still feel the hillock of sand on which it seems now I sat for hours at a time contemplating the moods of the water and the mysteries of its depth. I am made of that.
 The next is the prairie of far western Minnesota where I spent my early convent years with the wind, the wide sky, the wheat and barley fields, the river, the driving snow and wild flowers in spring.
The next truly sacred place came to be Brione's Wilderness Park in the East Bay of California. From my contemplative commitment within this place most of my books of spirituality came forth.
I dreamed of the house above Discovery Bay in Washington State before I ever saw it. I dreamed of the whales that swam up the bay one summer. It was a place I never wanted to leave. Today my heart aches and opens even to remember sitting on the driftwood at low tide and calling to the seal that rose and fell on the quiet waters.
But from there I came here and perhaps this ground will be my final ground--this place my most sacred threshold.