Monday, June 8, 2009


What does the term "Sacred Space" mean to you. It surely doesn't have to be only one thing. There are sacred spaces in conversation and in prayer. Sacred Spaces are often in your mind and in your thought process.

When I started thinking about it, my first images were of physical places. Those places that I hold dearest in my memory. Places where life happened, where unexpected and unplanned conversations brought me closer to people. I've had many of those times around a campfire over the last 20 years. I've had them at home on "my" beach. 

There is one place that seems to tug at my heart more than others though. It's a little kitchen at 121 North M St, in Pensacola, FL. My Grandparents kitchen. It was cozy, kind of like a cocoon. It had paneled walls and indoor/outdoor carpet. There was an old radio on the top of the refrigerator that seemed to play nothing but Gospel music from an AM dial. Through its screen door I would smell the scents of the morning time. The smell of the Gulf Coast mixed with the paper mill and fresh cut grass that blended so wonderfully with the smell and sounds of grits, eggs and bacon frying in her old skillet. Many evenings and late night found us in conversations that I still hold close to this day. These were holy moments in Sacred Spaces to me. The memories of many things that can't be recaptured. They are gone now and someone else is making memories in that house that my Grandfather built and cared for, for over 50 years. 

I'm making more memories however with my children, creating more sacred spaces in conversation, in listening, growing with them. The realization and reminders of my own short comings and mistakes cause me to reflect and have moments of understanding. I have created a space at my house that I affectionally refer to as my "Hogan", after Navajo terminology. It is a space that I have already shared some wonderful conversations about journeys and lives and memories. 

I hope we all can continue to see and create these Sacred Spaces in our lives. My wife has created wonderful Sacred Spaces in her gardens, places where she helps bring things to life, where she thinks and lets her soul flourish. They can be anywhere you wish them to be as God is everywhere and in everything. I've included a couple of pics of Sacred Spaces for me over the years, where life has been shared and the spirit of God made me glad to be right in that moment.

1 comment:

  1. I knew that kitchen the moment I saw it. Those curtains were one of a kind and that train planter in the window. You knew you were loved and safe from all harm, when you were in that kitchen. :) So many memories came flooding back to me. I still have plants that were started in that kitchen window. I have a pot full of her bleeding heart vine that is blooming beautifully right now that was started in a glass in that window. Thank you for sharing that Sacred Space, it holds some of the fondest memories of my life. I remember Shawn helping me polish Gam’s silver while sitting at that table, and him going into the pantry for a snack when we would stop by for a visit. After Melissa was born, I would stop by to help with her housework, while I did my laundry and we spent most of our time in that kitchen. And later, when I started working, I would stop by and drop both of them off and know that no harm would come to my children there. Even washing the dishes after family dinners, oh, yes, I know that window so very well. As the kids got older, Gam would call me at work to tell me to stop by because she had made cobbler or some other treat and had some for the kids. There were so many, many times that I was given love and support by Gam and Grandaddy in that kitchen. I even remember the way she used to fuss at me because my hair was always too long and we wouldn’t have to pay such a high water bill if we would all cut our hair short. LOL. She would love Melissa’s new hair cut. Yes, that kitchen was a Sacred Space for all of us. For years, my living room has been a Sacred Space, all of Shawn and Melissa’s friends knew it was safe here. They still stop by to visit sometimes and bring their kids with them. My greenhouse is another of my Sacred Spaces; it is full of my plants, a lot of which are pieces from Gam and Grandaddy, and now their plants are in there too. My mother’s house is another Sacred Space. I hadn’t really thought of them as Sacred Spaces, they were always special to me and filled with so many memories, but now I will think of them as Sacred Spaces. Thank you for sharing.
    With all my love,