What Makes a Space Sacred?

On our recent summer vacation, I was surprised at the national park which was the favorite of the ones we visited.  I had expected that the Shenandoah National Park and Smoky Mountains would wow me with their beauty and gorgeous views.  And they did.

However, my favorite experience was in Mammoth Cave, which I had just thrown in to the trip on the drive home to add another destination to our national park passport book.

It wasn’t just the mammoth caves that impressed me, it was the feeling of sacred space around the caves and the whole park, which felt missing, particularly in the Smoky Mountains where there are so many tourist traps.

Mammoth_Cave_National_Park (Kentucky)
Mammoth_Cave_National_Park (Kentucky) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of my partiality to the caves may have been the refreshing coolness of that dark space in contrast to the hot and humid exterior.

The other thing that brought me to awe is that human beings have been visiting the world’s largest cave for thousands of years.  If I’m remembering correctly, scientists who have researched the caves have evidence of humans living in the caves five thousand years ago.

The darkness is what we picked up with most of our camera shots inside Mammoth Cave.

The Park Ranger showed us how we could experience the whole 390 miles by turning off the lights.

I have to admit to feeling very uncomfortable with the pitch black darkness.

My kids were thrilled to see a single bat fly through the cave while we were there.

I wonder what ancient humans thought of the cave.  There seems to be some evidence that it might have been considered a sacred space as well as a place for shelter.

Daily Contemplation:

Moving beyond your own personal space today, if you had to choose the most deeply sacred places and spaces in the world, which would they be for you?

Do you feel we’re doing enough to care for and preserve these sacred spaces?

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The Value of the Exhaustion of Repetition

Louisville, Kentucky

I love driving on road trips.  I don’t mind that the highways can all look the same after a while, or even the exhaustion of driving thousands of miles.

In fact, there is a special value to the exhaustion of repetition that road trips provide, at least for me.

I find that a good road trip clears my mind, and despite the monotony at times, all roads are a little different.  My soul and heart feel alive when I’m on the road to a place I’ve not visited before.  The more I travel the U.S. to our various national parks,  the more I love and appreciate our earth as the vast and varied enchanted oasis that it is.

Do any of you enjoy the meditative-like qualities of road trips?

Daily Contemplation:

Is there any activity that brings you value from the exhaustion of repetition?

P.S.  We are all fairly exhausted from our first day of travel to Louisville.  We’re only passing through on this trip. Even though to me it wasn’t a very long distance, 4 hours sleep the night before the trip began didn’t help.  Nevertheless, it’s great to be out on the road again.  Hope to have some road trip photos to share soon!

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Challenges Resolved by Returning Again

A pictogram to identify an issue as resolved.
A pictogram to identify an issue as resolved. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of the most important journeys in life happen after we first experience failure, and having learned from the experience, we start our journey again,  with the gold of experience and wisdom guiding us.

Perhaps this has happened to you after failure.

  • You decide to love again, and find the love of your life.
  • You start another business and this time you succeed beyond your imagination.
  • You lose your health and through a new way of living you find a way to feel better than ever before.
  • You hit bottom with your finances and experience a quantum leap allowing you to rebuild prosperity to new levels.

Sometimes failing is exactly what we need to move to the next level in our life.

Daily Contemplation:

Have you ever experienced challenges that are resolved by returning again?

Are you on any journeys in life where starting again is the best way to resolves an issue?

This is part of the Enchanted Journey series for July and August 2012.  Check in every day through August 4th to catch the whole series.

Beginnings in Writing and Life

The way a book begins matters.  It’s the same for a journey of any sort.

The first lines of a novel give us a sense of the style of the author, the storyline of the plot and often the genre we will be reading.

In the same way that a writer works diligently at creating and revising to create a great beginning of a work or story, we ought to spend some time making the beginnings of our journeys something special.

Daily contemplation:

If you are starting a trip, a project, a family or any other beginning in life, have you put as much attention to the beginning of your journey as you are to the final destination?

This is part of the Enchanted Journey series written back in July and August 2012.  

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