“You touch the earth, you will never cry again” Arlene Tognetti
I walk outside my patio door and the wonderful scent of my sweet peas fills the air. This smallest event makes me stop and smile. I then take a seat and wait excitedly for the next whiff to move towards me. This small movement is a sacred one. Where you forget totally what you were doing and truly enjoy the moment.
Sacred spaces are the places where it makes you take a break, where you feel calm, free or dare I say at peace. It can be a simple arrangement you brought. A single container with your favorite plant or several containers to large spaces. It is a place for you, the place you consider sacred. It consists of some aspect of nature and you.
A place that is sacred can do many things. Refresh your spirit after a long day or unexpected event, create awe and wonder as you watch the dragonflies dart in and out, provide sanctuary when you feel distressed in any form. Seek out that touch of the nature spirit. Take the important five minutes to connect with a quiet place. Carry a picture of your favorite plant or space–put it on your phone.
You may have heard, nature is hot again, that after several years of being inside, scientific studies prove we need nature. It resets an internal need forgotten. Over the last several years the healthcare industry has proven out that walking in nature, gardening, and even the simple act of reflecting has proven to heal, calm and change an individual’s life.
Communing with nature is nothing new, we continually hear the loss of it. True, large defoliation of land–due to man, fires, insects or, the attack of foreign bugs and non-native plants and the traditional gota build syndrome. All have their impact. Creating your own or supporting sacred spot become critical.
I help my clients to create quiet spaces. Helping to start their day or end their day or in the evening to watch the stars go by. Create a place that becomes special where you can catch your breath whether for an hour or a couple of days.
I have been a lifelong steward. Mankind is but one piece of the earth and yet carries the heaviest load. Quiet Garden is one of my favorite organizations. The “Quiet Garden Movement nurtures low cost, accessible, outdoor space for prayer, contemplation, rest and inspiration in a variety of settings.” These are places that speak to your inner spirit, helping to heal and look at your place in the world somewhat differently. Leave your cell phone at the gate. It is on my bucket list to create and manage such a place.
Through helping to rediscover the power of your own spirit and recognizing the greatness that is all around us, wellness and stewardship come to fruition. Organizations like the Quiet Gardens model templates of how to take these traits with you.
How to create a sacred space?
Lead with your heart and intuition, this is your space to do whatever is necessary for a restful, restorative and inspiring place. It will be okay to change it down the road. Your special space honors and celebrate life, fun and creativity. It is your catalyst and how you track the flow of nature. While you are the creator, you are also the caretaker, the observer and the storyteller. All traits that feed a part of your soul that appreciate the moment and needs care.
These are ideas on how to develop your space. Keeping it simple and the level of maintenance you can work with are important.
Do you like art? I love art in the garden; large or small, round, tall, swings, solid, there are so many choices. For simplicity, bonsai do it all. They are an art form, represent nature and are sacred. I say this a bit tongue-in-cheek. Once a good friend had me care for his bonsai. They all died under my watch. As my living space becomes smaller, I have begun looking at this wonderful art form. A post for another day.
Do you need to create privacy or boundaries? Trees in the ground or in containers. Physical structures like arbors, lattice fencing, or gates. Small spaces reduce stress. Create a garden room, any of the above tools will help.
What are your favorite scents? Plant for your senses. Do you like morning bloomers, mid-day or evening ones? We are a plant rich society, growers and information are available. Calming plants like rosemary, jasmine, daffodils produce delightful scents. You’ll need to learn each plants life-cycle (flowering time, maturity, etc. for best results)
Do you have favorite colors? Does your space need inspiration, add silver or a boost of energy as you go out for your day, add red. Use plants, containers, furniture, art or even the bird that visits your space. I have a tree frog or two, they are green and yellow with brown toes. Green for nature, yellow for communication (no idea what it is saying but I always say hi) and brown for the earth and to showcase the other colors of its body.
If you live in an area where there are seasonal changes celebrate them. My favorite season is fall, I always try to bring the reds and golds and hope they go partially into the beginning dark of winter. I am a tree person, the coral bark and paperbark maples transition in spectacular hues from fall to winter. The blues of conifers light up the twilight and the white bark of the birches catches the winter light just so until the sprouting of pink cherry trees signaled spring.
How do you get to your sacred space? Is it three steps or many steps, a winding path, a labyrinth or a maze? What material do you like gravel, sand, wood or trex? Add something that moves down your path; chimes, flags, seedpods, or grasses. Something that draws you to your sacred space. Place a seat or two to rest and let your journey of the day be put aside for a while. Let nature and your sacred space embrace you.