Sacred Space

By , October 27, 2018

Obviously, the effects of our recent trip to Ireland may never fully wear off (see Every Sign a Song Cue). But now, it’s time to return to the work of the homestead. We’re doing that with a fresh mind set.

Patrick's Well

Saint Patrick’s Well, near Grianinn of Aliach, Co. Donegal, Ireland. Likely sacred for much longer than Patrick’s lifetime (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

My spiritual guide for the Ireland trip was Patricia Monaghan, through her wonderful book, The Red Haired Girl from the Bog, which I read years ago, and re-read for the trip. She’s an Alaskan of Irish ancestry who went to Ireland to find her roots. I provided a travelogue of Ireland, her personal experience, and much good advice on how to see Ireland within a limited period of time.

She ended the book with an observation that I found profound, and very personally relevant. (If you dislike spoilers, you may want to stop reading now.)

At the end of The Red Haired Girl from the Bog, she quotes a Wintu shaman, Flora, who said, “Whoever has sacred places must wake them up”. Monaghan reminds the reader that all places are sacred in their own way, and urges us to seek out, recognize, and celebrate the sacrality of any and every place, the “ultimate and indisputable holiness” of wherever one finds one’s self. Perhaps, then, Flora’s statement may be more about waking one’s self up to sacred spaces rather than waking up the spaces themselves?

This I choose to apply particularly to my own home.

Those who read this blog deeply know my own philosophy on Sacred Space, for which the homestead and its surrounds obviously hold high significance for us. I think of many places in the world, many right here on the homestead, as personally sacred spaces (see, for example, Hunting Haunts or Sacred Places, or Sitka, Alaska Is on My Mind). I’ve also spoken often of appreciating where one lives through new eyes (see Be a Tourist in Your Own Town).

Michelle and Aly at Newgrange

Michelle and Aly at Síd in Broga (Newgrange) (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Waking up to sacred places in Ireland, particularly inside the burial chamber and sun passage of Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange) proved personally very moving (unfortunately, photography isn’t allowed in there). On coming home, I feel the relief and joy of returning to those places sacred to my heart that are of my own homeland, and even nominally under my control.

Aly and Michelle on the Zeiger Family Homestead

Michelle and Aly enjoy the homestead view, shortly before departing on the Ireland trip (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

In some ways, this whole blog is about my family’s Sacred Space. We honor it, hallow it, and “wake it up” in some small way with each post.

Where is your Sacred Space? How do you wake yours up?


4 Responses to “Sacred Space”

  1. Betty Zeiger says:

    Thanks for sharing! Would like to hear more about yor journey ❤

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Aunt Betty, I plan to write a long “report” about it for Grandma Holabird, so I’ll likely send that out to family as well. Love you!

  3. Eva Hensley says:

    Glad you all had a wonderful trip…can’t wait to hear more Mark as Ireland is on my bucket list. Welcome back!

  4. Mark Zeiger says:

    Thank you, Eva! I’m going to try not to go overboard on talking about Ireland here, but it’s bound to creep into the mix in the future!

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