Week 1, Day 4 – A Sense of Place

The assignments for today were:

  1. draw a picture of the house you grew up in and of your room. Don’t worry about your technique.  Just get the basic shapes on paper.  Was there a secret place where you had your treasures? Or a place you liked to play on rainy days?  What about these memories makes you feel connected to your young, innocent self?  Where did you sit and read?  Dream?  Find at least one good place if you can.  Does a sense of place help you remember that you are connected to the spirit?  Use gazing into the water and streaming to explore this.
  2. using the technique of gazing into the water as a warm-up, then write about a local place that you like to go to when you need to feel calm.  If you don’t have a place, imagine how you would like it to be.  How does your body feel when you are in this place?  Use streaming to remember all of your special places and what these places did for your spirit.

I cant remember the last time I thought about my childhood home or my room, but I can see it ever so clearly.  It is funny how sometimes when you stop and close your eyes, you can see things so clearly.  The funny thing is that the space I felt most connected to spirit was not a physical space, but an emotional space with my Bubby.  Whenever I was going through something I would see her when she still lived nearby and she would say come sarah bella let us go for a walk.  We would walk in silence until suddenly she would stop and say something very profound to me and then we would go back to the house and the rest of the family.  There were other places in my own home that made me feel connected.  One was the sewing room.  I loved spending time there with my mother.  I was always amazed at how she could take fabric and transform it into something beautiful.  Most of the time she made the most beautiful clothes, although I have to say sometimes I did not want to wear what she made me, especially those polyester dresses with the keyhole armholes.  I was never so glad as when those went out of fashion.  The other place I felt connected was in the kitchen.  I remember when I was a little girl, my mother would sit me on the floor with a pot of water and a spoon and tell me to stir.  My mother was this amazing baker – cooking not so much – but baking she and my grandmother could both create baked goods that melted in your mouth – you could taste the love.  There were also places in my house where I went to feel safe – the crawlway in the basement, the closet in my bedroom, and the baby dresser in my mother’s sewing room.  This is where I went to hide when my father was drunk and I feared getting hit.  There was something about having these little hiding spaces that made me feel safe and protected.  When I was in these spaces I always had this sense that God was protecting me. 

Today, in my current home, there is my office which is my quiet space.  It is where I constantly work at creating a spiritual environment and space,  I love coming here to listen to my music, write my reflections, listen to the waterfall, or play with my shells or marbles.  There is something peaceful about being in a space where you can just be.

The other space in my house where I feel at peace is the bathroom.  Strange as it may sound I have had some amazingly spiritual moments while on the toilet or in the shower.  I love taking showers in the dark.  The water sounds so different then when the light is on.  It is that space when I feel as if the Creator is with me and rinsing off of me everything that is weighing me down spiritually.  When I am in the shower, I feel as if I am being cleansed on the inside and the outside.  Maybe I have these moments in the bathroom because it seems to be the one place I can where nobody bothers me. Even when I am at school, I love spending time in the bathroom because it is quiet and meditational and nobody, well with rare exception, will anyone follow me. 

I also find peace in my bedroom.  There is nothing like lying there quietly and just being and listening to the voice of the Spirit resonating in my head.

There are not spaces like that which are accessible to me these day which give me that same feeling.  The one space I do like to go to are libraries and bathrooms and some worship spaces, but not all.  There is this one church I used to attend years ago – I could sit for hours in their old sanctuary.  There was this awesome spirit in the space and even though you were alone in the sanctuary, you felt as if you were surrounded by a circle of angels.  The new sanctuary at the same church, which by the way was gorgeous, never had that feeling for me.  One of the things I learned from this is that it is the energy in the spaces that make them feel safe and sacred for me, not what they look like.