Encore: A Sacred Space

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” Joseph Campbell

When I first hear “sacred space” I automatically think or a church or chapel.

A place that an institution or a select group of people have deemed “blessed”. Where one must genuflect and speak in hushed tones

if to speak at all.

Or a graveyard, mausoleum or battle field, a place or rest for some, a place of remembrance for others.

But look in any dictionary and you’ll find one of the definitions of “sacred” is

“dedicated to somebody”.

Virginia Woolf had another name for a sacred space she called it “a room of one’s own” (complete with lock and key) a place where she could write. A simple room that exists for no one else but you. Four walls dedicated to solitude and contemplation and independence.

A space does, in a way, become sacred when visited on a regular basis. A place of safety and routine.

Every teacher should consider her classroom sacred. It’s a place where students “find themselves again and again” so I am obliged to make it as safe and welcoming and enlightening. The classroom should be a place where people regard themselves, the acquisition of knowledge, and creativity with respect…

or at least make an attempt. (Believe me I know this is difficult some days near the end of the year with a raggle taggle brood of ninth graders).

Other spaces that emit a sense of obvious sacredness are any places that possess lakes, or rivers, mountains or prairies.

Parks, mountain ranges, prairies,

vast spaces of wilderness.

All sacred.

But the most important place that should possess a sense of sacredness is the place you call home.

That safe place where you are not judged

or threatened

or uneasy.

Some place that is familiar and welcoming.

A place where you can finally let go of that breath you’ve been holding

and the muscles you’ve been clenching.

Can you imagine not having a “home” to return to again and again? That place of migration where you pause and collect yourself

and remember how strong you are

and how blessed your life.


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