Posted in Essay, Photo Essay, Photo Story, Photography/Photographer, Spiritual Practice, Story Telling, Terri Stewart

Sacred Space in the Fault Zone

During the week of August 31 – September 6, The Bardo Group will post essays, photos and poems on Wilderness to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act being signed into law in the U. S.  More information is at the end of this post-scroll down!

Throughout religious history, wilderness has been associated with sacred space. Mt. Zion, Mt. Tabor, Mt. Olympus, the wilderness outside Jerusalem, Heart Butte, Sacred Bear Butte, and the list goes on. Sacred places which attract people questing for beauty and for a glimpse into something beyond us. All over the world, people religious live in the wilderness–the Celtic “thin places.” Places where the realm between what is and what could be seem unified in a spiritual wild-zone. Thin places offer the potential for transformation. I’d like to invite you to travel into the wilderness of “The Earthquake Trail” with me and Colin (my son).

1-earthquaketrailThe Earthquake Trail is north of San Francisco and goes directly over the San Andreas fault. We went there after my son had surgery and had his post-surgery “clearance” checkup. This surgery was necessary for Colin to continue his path to a transformed, fulfilled, abundant life. It seems appropriate that we visit a place where sudden transformation has and will occur. And as the sign so appropriately points out, “Prepare yourself for the uncertainty of walking in the fault zone.

2It seems to me, that is what the wilderness experience is about. Confronting uncertainty and coming through it with a greater appreciation for the faults that lie within ourselves…and with others. But most importantly, recognizing the power that our faults have when they rage out of control and the beauty they hold when they illustrate our uniqueness.

4There is life in the fault zone. New life of grains, older life of majestic trees, even dried moss hanging on lifelessly-for now-waiting to be reborn during the moist days ahead. And most majestically, the California Condor–a bird rebounding from extinction in the wild. Life is abundant here, in the fault zone.

10Prickly thistles adding color and leaves hanging in the balance–proving even the most uncomfortable plant can provide beauty and buoyancy.

5But no matter where we are, there comes a point when we have to make a choice. Do we stay here? Or do we go deeper? Will we cross the bridge? Ford the stream?

6Once we cross, as before, there are boundaries. Places that are “in” and are “out.” Boundaries can be places of support and beauty as we grow and become comfortable with our faults.

7But our boundaries are not always healthy. Sometimes they need to be reset. Transformation happens in an upsetting of power that tumbles our soul pell-mell through the wilderness. What used to be a contiguous, easy, fence breaks and a new boundary is set. Opening up space for abundant love.

9
This fence was moved from “here” to “there” during an earthquake. It used to be one, straight fence.

And this happens within the wilderness and ancient trees that dwarf our understanding of life. But always stretching it upward and onward.

11Inviting us to further journey along the path.

12Following the inspiration that calls to us. No matter which way the wind blows. Finding sacred space in the fault zone.

13
Weathervane at the Earthquake Zone Visitor’s Center

Shalom and Amen!

terri

 

 

Simulcast at http://www.BeguineAgain.com

You are encouraged to add your voice to ours on this site via Mister Linky or by sharing a link to your work in the comments section of any post that week.  Although this is an U.S. event, we recognize that there are places all over the world that are still wild and that are protected by naturalists, scientists, governments and concerned citizens. Hence, we invite participation from everywhere. We think it would be a good thing for us to share information and insights about the world’s many wild places though poems, essays, photographs, music and videos. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us.  

 

terrisignoffblog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author:

I am a monk disguised as a passionate prophet. My true loves are God, family, and the creative arts. And maybe just a little bit of politics too. (PS My photo is by Eric Lyons Photography).

12 thoughts on “Sacred Space in the Fault Zone

  1. Very much looking forward to this, Terri. I grew up and have lived most of my life near San Andreas and other fault lines. A few years ago here in Reno we had about a month’s worth of earthquake “swarms”–some days over 100 small but sharp temblors. The epicenter was only a couple of miles from us and the quakes were quite shallow so that each one felt like a truck was slamming into our two-story house. The one thing that settled my rattled nerves was working in the garden, caring for the earth. I was in the Bay Area for Loma Prieta and more recently experienced (on two separate occasions) 7.0’s in Palm Desert but they were rolling and lasted long enough that it totally messed up our inner ears’ equilibrium for a few days. But earthquakes are a powerful metaphor for transformation, aren’t they. Looking forward to this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I’m looking forward to it too. This particular spot is the epicenter of the 1918 quake. But up here in the WA area, we had an earthquake a few years ago that was one of those deep, rolling kind. It is fascinating to see the earth undulate like that! — Fascinating AFTER the fact!

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  2. I, too, have hiked over the fault line (albeit a bit further south). I like how it is a symbol of the autonomy of Earth…it still has the power to do what it will despite our attempts to “manage” it in every aspect. In my years in SoCal, where the seasons don’t change the scenery, an earthquake was my favorite reminder of that power. I was glad we were shaken out of our egocentric complacency every once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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