Thursday, February 12, 2009
Journeys and soujorns and pilgrimages.
"A pilgrimage is a journey to a place where the human soul encounters the sacred. Churches, cathedrals, shrines, temples, mosques, holy cities, these are spaces designed to ritually separate the sacred from the mundane. They are known and felt as centers and sources of spiritual power, charged with an energy that can redeem human life. These places moor the drifting human community. They are the bridge between heaven and earth, the still point on which rest both time and eternity." This exerpt was taken out of the book, Writing from Life.
I really like this definition but it is followed with this:
"But because cathedrals, temples, and the like are seats of political power and because patriarchal religions have refused to all owe women to participate, in that power, many women and men have begun to seek their own holy places, some celebrate the holy places of the earth, mountains, deserts, rivers, groves of ancient trees"
Groves of ancient trees in the Avenue of the Giants in northern California. I can't really tell you what I felt standing in that forest of ancient coastal redwood trees in Northern California. There is a sense of awe and wonder. Of God and spirit.
You feel very small there. You feel a real sense of timelessness. You know these are living beings you know they are not dead or "just trees".
There is something there for every sense. The smell is indescribible, and stirred something wild in my heart. You must touch them, you must weep for the ones who have fallen, and taken their grove mates down with them. They stand very close together because they are family. Sometimes, when one falls, several fall. The rangers say they have never seen one fall, for they fall in private. But they can hear it.
There is a hush when you walk through their groves. While walking amongst these giants, you know there is a bigger design than you can imagine. These sentinels of the earth, they sprout new trees up high in their branches. They provide homes for many animals and insects, and lichens.
You can leave behind your mundane worries and concerns here. Nothing matters but the trees.
Breathe deeply the scent of the sequoia.