Whether it’s a room in your home, or a park in a busy city, we all need a place we feel at peace. Over the many years there have been special places that I’m drawn to, and just feel the need to be near. These places are where I reflect on troubles, or rejoice and be thankful. I know you all are thinking this will be a talk about my sincere love for the sea, but it is not, although that is true. This is a flash back to more of the beginning of my experience with some sacred places I hold dear in my memories, places I still to this day visit, if only in my mind and dreams. These places shaped who I am today, I didn’t realize it at the time, but these particular sacred places sculpted me from the very beginning.
It’s hard to focus on just one moment in my life. Memories of various places rush through my mind. However there are two distinct places as a young child I remember feeling an overwhelming fulfillment of satisfaction. When I was growing up, we lived in a deeply wooden area up north. My family’s property together was far over 100 acres. I remember my one true place of peace was nearby my home, back through the woods. I retreated there often. Whenever someone was looking for me, that’s usually where they could find me. Through the woods, full of beauty in itself, was an amazing sandy clearing. It was somewhat like a giant sand dune, very much out-of-place in the deep woods that surrounded it. It was shaped like a mound of just sand. Nothing grew there, no weeds, no trees, nothing just a huge area of sand. At the top of the mound was an old wooden cross. It had been there far before I was born, I do not know exactly who put it up. I remember sitting at the base of the cross often. Some days to play, others to sleep, many times to cry, and even just plain sit and reflect on how small I was in the vastness of the area. As I grew up I found amazing peace on the top of that small hill of sand, right beneath the cross. I would hunt for treasures all around the cross, sometimes digging for hours. Some of those little treasures I still have today, most were reburied as my treasure. I would find old arrow heads, rocks, bottle caps, sometimes even an old glass bottle. These things weren’t visible unless you really got in there and looked. My mind often drifts back to the time I spent at the cross. I really didn’t know much about religion, or being spiritual then, but I did believe in God, and I felt like I was as close I could get to him there. The place was my sacred place, my haven.
Another safe haven in my life, was my dear Great Grandmother’s Home. Sometimes when we think of a place, we think of being alone out in the woods, or on a sandy beach. My grandmother’s house was still like this, only she was there. I didn’t mind one minute that she was. She was an amazing woman; strong, faithful, determined, and relatively stubborn. I loved that in her. Her home inside and outside was the most thrilling place to go. I was an explorer of sorts, and some of the best adventures were found either in or outside her house. She too had many acres of land and there were honey bees, old antique cars (antique for back then), old walnut trees, and farm animals. Most of her collectibles indoors were well over a century old back then. I think this is where I learned my true love for vintage and antiques. She had fascinating belongings, and her home was wide open to me, I was nothing off-limits, (well, except my Granddaddy’s Playboy Collection) She literally had everything, from old spinning wheels, to old glassware, the most beautiful jewelry, and rooms filled to the brim, you could barely get in them to roam about and investigate. Whenever I went to her house, I was free. Not only free to roam and learn about all the amazing things in her home, but free in a different sense. With her, I developed my sense of individuality and independence. Whether I was collecting walnuts for a fresh, scratch-made pie (everything was scratch made), or pretending to drive one of those incredible old cars, I developed my womanhood there. There, in that place, my thoughts and dreams were endless. It was sanctuary from the world around me. I often still feel like I sitting down with her, sipping tea in her fine china.
As an adult, yes, I still have those sacred, special places that bring me joy and fill me with inspiration. Places I find hope, and places I shed my tears- each salty tear cleansing my soul as it drips down my face. The beach and its shorelines, the sea and the depths of its waters, yes, these are very dear to me. Life doesn’t mean its perfect when I’m there, but life sure makes a lot more sense when I embrace where these places take me.
My hope in sharing this with you all, is for you each to take time, and identify these places and how significant they are to every one of us. Don’t over think it, it can be a simply room in your home, or a tranquil backyard. Maybe you find yourself at peace in an art museum, or a rocky pathway to a small creek. Find refuge there and reflect on life, goals, or just put in a good cry. We all grow and find strength in different ways- whether you use your sacred place to connect with God above, read a good book, or write in a journal- take the time to pursue a special place for you, and your life in general will be so much more fulfilling and refreshed.
God Bless you all- Live, Love, and Laugh