Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

I just discovered this week that my wireless internet router reaches out in the yard a little way from the house, so now I can combine two of my favorite activities...goofing around on the internet, and sitting in "my sacred circle" in the yard.

I discovered "my sacred circle" about 2 years ago, even though I have lived at this house for eight years. It started when a bunch of people at Trinity got into contemplative prayer. I did not join the "centering prayer group" for one simple reason. I border on ADHD. I don't think I'd actually qualify for the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but I know I'm darn close. I have never been able to sit still. Monastic forms of prayer, work as prayer, is closer to my style when praying "out of the box" in some form other than spoken prayers or silent thought prayers.

I knew all I would do for a centering prayer group was serve as the "what not to do" model. But what I decided to do was find a "sacred space" at home and just be in it and see what shakes out of it. That space is in the southwest corner of my yard.

Let me tell you a little bit about my yard. I live waaaaaay out in the country, about 6 miles from Kirksville, in "the flatlands". You have to understand a little about the geography of Missouri. Highway 63 literally rides atop "the grand divide" of the state. Everything west of highway 63 drains to the Missouri river; everything east of it drains to the Mississippi river. West of 63 are woods and rolling hills covered with trees. East of 63 are flats, gentle hills, and pasture. I am a flatlander from childhood. The wide open green pastures are "my ocean", rolling waves of green. I enjoy the woods, but I love the flatlands best because of the expanse and openness. It is why traveling to the ocean fascinates me. To me, the ocean is "blue flatlands."

In the southwest corner of my yard, I have a rough ring of trees and bushes bordering the house and the corner of my pasture. If I sit in a reclining lawn chair in the northeast end of this circle, I can look up into the sky as if from a cylinder. The circle of trees does not obscure the pastures if I want to stand and look across. The house shields me from the dusk to dawn light in the driveway. I can see "my ocean" by day and this cylinder of stars in the sky by night. I found if I just sit in this place, in my reclining lawn chair, I can just "be" and I feel God sitting next to me.

I have never shown anyone my sacred circle. I have one person whom I've promised to show that circle, but we have both insisted we both have to be in the right mood to appreciate it; as yet the moment of sharing it has not happened. I am reticent to show off this circle because it is really quite ordinary, in a "touristy" sort of way, but to me it is sacred. It is the one spot that I can sit still and wait on God to show up. I have no clue why this is the case.

I have simply never been one to sit still. My whole life has been "I can't wait." I could never stand waiting for Christmas to open presents. I could never stand waiting for the big game when I played sports in high school. Waiting has always made me edgy, jumpy, grouchy, and curt, even if I was waiting for something good.

But in my sacred circle, I can ignore the phone, the world, the noise, and the clutter in my life. I can stare up at the night sky and marvel at the stars. I can melt into the night sky. By day, I can become entranced by the intricacies of the behavior of the birds in the trees, or look out acrosse the pasture, my ocean with real waves as the hay grows taller. I can lean back in my reclining lawn chair and feel the presence of God sitting on my chest. When I look at my watch, I am often amazed that a half hour or hour has gone by and it feels like a minute.

In my feeble worldy mind, this is how I envision the temporal nature of heaven. I cannot usually wrap my mind around "forever." But I can sit in this spot and get a tiny glimpse of it, because time moves in a fashion different than the laws of nature...at least in my own mind. Sure, real time passes...but "my time" becomes without boundaries.

To steal from "Field of Dreams"..."Is this heaven? No, it's northeast Missouri."

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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