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.
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.
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.