I have a great need to experience the sacred. I think we all do.
We live in times that so often desecrate the human spirit. War, drones, gun violence, road rage, political wrangling, insatiable greed, sexual abuse, child abandonment, and all sorts of inhuman acts against one another too often occur which all serve to deaden our souls.
The recent news of the man who systematically kidnapped three young girls in his neighborhood, who just decided to own them as his property, held them captive for years, sexually used them for his own entertainment, was unimaginable in its heartlessness. How do those women, whose youth and teenage years and sense of self were taken from them, how do they recover from that kind of fiendish, barbaric treatment?
We see this on the news and something dies inside us. It is so easy then to want to harden ourselves against the cruelty of others. But in the process we lose our connection with the sacred.
Each morning when I get to my desk I turn on my computer and listen to Schubert’s “Ava Maria.” It is such a beautiful piece. Soothing. Calming. Enchanting. It quiets my spirit before the day’s busyness sets in; before the harsh realities of life seep into the quiet of the morning. More and more I feel the need for a disarming of the spirit before it shields itself in guarded defensiveness.
I want to see the symmetry and feel the rhythm in life. I want to believe in people; trust their innate goodness; be warmed by their benevolence. I want to be romanced by wonder and experience feelings of the transcendent. I need a night to trace the lines of the Big Dipper, to be stunned by the expanse of space. I need a week on an ample and unpopulated beach and across white sand watch the horizon dance on sky blue water. I need the warm glow of some otherworldly moment. I want to be touched by the sacred.
Not long ago Ingrid and I were at the Farmer’s Market trying to decide on a nice pot of flowers to put on her front porch. What is it about flowers that take us so quickly into their courteous world of color? It is their delicacy. It is their clear sign of a growing life. It is their variety, their changing textures, their multiple sizes and shapes and designs. There is so much in them to be drawn into, to be dazzled by. They are fragile, but if well cared for, they can be so hardy, so resilient, so enduring. And yet it is their transience, their fleeting beauty that perhaps most expresses a sacredness contained within them.
Can humans achieve such an existence? In our brief time here can we with strength guard our fragility while also showing our capacity to blossom, to nourish, to be a beautiful presence?
I want a life like that. A life touched by the sacred.
© 2013 Timothy Moody