Wednesday, March 24, 2010

blessed spaces

"There are places I remember all my life,
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments
Of lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I loved them all."
The Beatles 

Our capacity to conjure up a full colour multi sensory picture of a place so vivid that it almost feels like you've magically transported yourself in one blink, is gift we all share.  Sometimes it leaves us with the melancholic scent of nostalgia, and sometimes it can lift you right up out of the harmonic blues.  Sometimes, it can be the balm one needs in times of strife.   It's almost as good as being there for real. 

Since last week, I've been thinking a lot about the various locales which have left me with an almost indescribable feeling of connection as soon as I arrived there for the first time. What generated this thought was an evening spent with a friend who lives "up river" in a place called Keswick Ridge enjoying the transition from twilight to starry night outside in front of a bonfire.  We have been blessed with the best weather I can ever remember for the month of March.  Well, today doesn't count.  It's miserable out there.  But usually we have a month of todays.  To have had the chance to feed the fire to boil maple sap under a sky of standing room only stars while sharing deep heart stories came as close to inner peace as I have felt in a long time.  

I have always felt that way about Keswick Ridge, no matter what the season.  Its like a little piece of heaven to me.  It has all of the ingredients that other places in my life have to make me feel like I am connected to something sacred.   It allows me to inhale a wholeness of spirit as I stand firmly balanced on the clay under my feet.  There is an uncanny sense of belonging as well as an association to a much broader timeline than my own.   

Since that evening, enjoying simple pleasures while soothing new wounds, I have reminded myself of the other locations that grab me the same way.  I recognize them as holy and thank God for the opportunity to have felt it deeply.  

New Brunswick has a multitude of places like that for many of us.  Aside from the spots I can get to that are close by....... down the hill  by the river shoreline, up the hill along Springhill road, I'm struck by places like driving along the Kingston Penninsula, the Gagetown area, the road that winds along Grand Lake.  These are a few that come to my mind quickly.  Then there are those blessed places I have spent good feeling time in that aren't within within physical reach right now, but I intend to visit them as soon as I can finangle it.  Prince Edward Island, along the shores of a village called Maximeville......  Spencer's Island, Nova Scotia (where the accompanying photo was taken), and my old camp Kawabi.  It makes me smile just thinking about them as I write.

When I sit still and contemplate any of them more deeply, there are specific parts of those larger places that I can easily visualize. From that vantage point, its like honing into that home place of love and belonging.   Quickly, the intensity of how precious they are increases and showers me with a sense of place and space that offers life abundance.  

Perhaps it is a touch of grace?  A wonderful a sense of feeling alive?  It always leaves me with a glimpse of eternity.

Not a day goes by when I don't recognize the importance of sacred places.  I gather energy and a sense of attachment to the clay under my feet when I visualize these sacred places in my own life.  What pulls me to mine may be very different than what captures you.  I think part of individual attraction to place comes down to a sensory aesthetic that is comparable to our unique fingerprints.    

This is the gift we all share; the ability to pull good light and good feelings into our world whenever we choose to.  And if we are very lucky, we can get ours physical selves there to inhale all of its healing salve. 

My thoughts leave me wondering..... Where do you go in your visioning, (or if you're lucky and can visit in person) when you want to remind yourself of feeling that sense of holiness?  

And how amazing is it when you stumble across another one of these spots on the planet that simply feels like you have been a part of the scene all along?  What is that all about??  I think it has something to do with receiving a wink from the Cosmos.

ps.  We sung a traditional hymn at church this week.  This first verse has remained with me since then and carried me through the writing of this piece.  

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, bless├Ęd Trinity.


Anonymous said...

My spot is Fundy , I drive out to Wolf point and walk the Dickson's fall's trail. On the way back in the view catches in your throat ,oh the mighty bay is spread before you. I stand in awe each time of how God can stop the ocean from coming any farther and know that if he has the power to controll someting as powerful as that, then he's got my back covered.
I am getting a new SUV next week so let me know if you and the kids are up for some adventure.


Twain12 said...

Kingston Penninsula and the Gagetown area are one of my favorite too plus the bay of fundy ,actually a lot of place along our beautiful coast. I use to just get in my car and drove to of the beaten path coves and beaches..anything i could find on the map. But i have places close to home too like down by the river.

Susan Deborah said...

Dear Dana:

I love that hymn esp the 'early in the morning' bit. Places are quite unique and they have a way with people and memories. I've often wondered whether it's the place, people or memories which give a special feeling.

Places make us cry, wonder and aware. Each time I see a place which fills me with a thousand different emotions, I wonder at the Creator's ability to design and make it special.

Like places, each one of us is special as well. As you are . . .

Joy and love always,

awareness said...

Mavis. I would love to see Wolf Point. I don't think I've ever been there. Is it near Alma? I've never been to St. Martins either and I hear that is spectacular. I have experienced the vistas from the NS side of the Bay of Fundy and Minas Bay and know what you describe here. The riptides at Cape D'or with a view of Cape Chignecto is always SO breathtaking.
I would love to arrange a trip and an adventure. Soon, ok? thank you Mavis. We'll connect soon. Thank you for keeping me close to you.

Twain 12. There are so many beautiful spots in this province of ours isn't there? I've always said the New Brunswick is such a well kept secret. It's a shame that so many people don't know it exists. :)
I will be driving the Kingston Penninsula often this summer as my daughter will be working at a children's camp down that way. Hope the ferries are running! Love the ferries!!

awareness said...

Susan. I hadn't sung it in a long long time, but as soon as I heard the tune, I remembered. It's good to return to the hymns that bind us all.

I had many thoughts writing this piece that stretched beyond outdoor places to indoor spaces as well as people. Perhaps they will be future posts. :)

Mark said...

I love the lyrics of this Beatles song! Always been one of my favorite. Our minds are a wonderful way to travel and experience places which are sacred to us. Thanks for sharing your moments! Love to you!

Selma said...

'I think it has something to do with receiving a wink from the Cosmos.'
I feel that so much when I visit my park on the Harbour. There is a strong sense of serenity and possibility there. Hope rises unbidden. It is my little bit of green amidst the concrete jungle.

Thinking of you XX

awareness said...

Mark. I am relying a lot on my ability to use my imagination and visioning to help lift myself out of the blues when I need to these days. Maybe all the writing has been to ensure I have that strength inside to forge through the inevitable waves.
Love to you too my friend.

Selma... you sure can't have enough of that serenity stuff. it's exactly the right word to describe the holiness of such a place.
You know Selma, when we both become famous authors? Let's arrange a book tour together eh? An Aussie and a Canuck tour. :)

Independent Chick said...

I'm glad you love that little piece of heaven called Keswick Ridge. It really is a great spot to be. Almost unexplainable really...but certainly a sense of home there.

The traditional hymn you mention...melted me to read those words. I can close my eyes and see me sitting in the choir next to my Grammie when I was little. I belted out those words... Next to my Gram, another little piece of heaven.

Hope you're well. Been thinking about you. XX