Holy Ground

Nature offerings alert me to holy ground

Summer time offering

Holy Ground

I have long loved rituals. I grew up in the Lutheran church and attended a small Lutheran school as a child. Soft red velvet covered benches, many candles burning, light pouring though stained glass windows, and potted purple violets at Easter, the smell of pine warmed by being indoors imbued a sensual importance to significant points in the calendar year.

But I have wandered from that fold. My church has dropped its walls and opened to the sky and soil and each person I meet. “This place you stand is holy ground,” sing the Klezmatics. And indeed it is.

I consider each encounter a visit with the Beloved. Where we stand together, is holy ground. This includes interaction my children and taxi drivers.

Does this tire me out? Nope. But it does slow me down. I cannot breeze past the Beloved when she is handing me change over the grocery counter. I cannot turn my back on the Beloved when she greets me on the street. I cannot ignore the Beloved when he reaches for my hand at an inconvenient moment. I cannot silence the Beloved as I light a candle every single morning and just sit. She beckons. I am learning to listen.

Honoring this holy ground

I have begun a practice of making nature offerings in my back yard or wherever I travel. My friend John, who lived in Bali for many years, keeps telling me I must go there because of all the altars, the daily practice of creating something simple to connect to the Divine.

But I party where I am, so that means I make nature offerings in the Berkshires, or in Armenia, or in the Upper Peninsula, in my hotel or classroom, or at a hospital. We cannot advocate for what we do not know. This small act of arranging gifts made of natural items found within hands reach, picked up off the ground-or, if you will,

from the lap of the Beloved,

allows me to know more intimately the smell and touch of this holy ground.

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We make these offerings in my workshops collectively.

Is there a place and time in your life where you might do the same? How can you notice that holy ground you stand upon?

In 2017 you can expect to see more offerings of reverence from me, offerings that are mindfully made and prayerfully handled.

I’d love to see one of yours.
I share mine on Instagram mostly.

xo,S

This post is my response to the #Quest2017 prompt from Kristen Noel of Best Self magazine. Here is the prompt:

Where are you going to go deeper this year, where can you be brave enough to bring forth even more of yourself — to infuse your work, creativity and business with that which is uniquely YOU, thus inspiring others to do more of the same? What could that look like in 2017 for you?

My Quest mates respond in a wide variety of ways to these prompts.

Donna Druchnas posts from her blog, Sheep to Shawl, and the Northeast Kingdom.

I don’t think knitting, or any craft, is solely about making pretty or useful things. When we make things with our hands, we are carrying on traditions that come from different times and different places. We are honoring the people that taught us these crafts, as well as those who invented them, improved them, and passed on traditions for generations, centuries, or even millennia.

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Showing 5 comments
  • Suzi Banks Baum

    Read this one from Kate Arms, also. http://cracksintheworld.com/end-of-slacktivism/

    And this one from Lois Kelly. Scroll back over her past three posts if you want to laugh and cry a bit. https://www.nakedhearted.com/blog/hey-how-are-you-

  • Janet

    ”We cannot advocate for what we do not know.’
    Yassss. Or, may I add, whom.

  • Evelyn Asher

    Suzi, Your observance and honor of the Beloved rings true to my heart. It also reminds me of a church bench in my friend’s den. My friend is a retired minister & author who had a delicious alter ego closet which she shared with guests. I see the Beloved in every person I see walking the streets of this rural community, wrapped in layers these colder days. The spirit they carry with their groceries in hand or backpacks has prompted me to write poetry – yet I yearn to have more conversations and interactions. You inspire me. I relate to interruptions that are blessings in disguise. Evelyn

  • Peggy

    Oh Suzi, I love this no end…the small, reverent rituals, the acuteness of presence that weaves throughout your life. (I remember this sense of you two years ago at Mohonk).

    I am going to share this lovely post.

  • Daniel

    Love this, Suzi. I love temporal art installations…! and you!!