Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sacred Places

There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
-Wendell Berry

For Lent this year I copied my friend at Two Square Meals who is giving up artificial light. As night approaches in my little cottage, the oil lamps come out, and the time of day is apparent in every dark corner of the house.

I’ve ended up sleeping more. I’ve realized how tired I am. I’ve worked less at home. I’ve awoken rested. I’ve slowed down. I’ve noticed the changes in the length of day. I’ve noticed more sunrises and sunsets. I’ve prayed more in the evening.

Of course, these descriptions of my Lenten fast only apply when I’m home, and the pace of life these days doesn’t find me home very often. There are many ways that Lent this year is no different from any other season, and the pace of life keeps me hopping all over the various towns in a 30-mile radius of my city. It’s hard to consecrate an entire season.

But I realized as I read a Wendell Berry poem posted at A Telling Place that while I feel incapable of consecrating the entire season as much as I wish I could, I can consecrate spaces. The places around me are sacred places, sacred places hidden behind the desecrations of cheap junk and noise and the iridescent glow of work. For Lent this year, I am trying to uncover the sacredness.

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