Tapping the Spirit of the Place
First, I invite you to take a moment to enjoy my video “Springtime in the Smokies.”
It is in Celtic spirituality that I find the language that speaks so movingly to the sacredness of the earth, and our own ability to awaken to it and live a life transformed.
As Frank MacEowen writes in The Mist-Filled Path, “Be it the healing energy of a tree, a time of silence at the river’s edge, or a moment of prayer at the hearth, the heart of the Celtic spirit is about blending with direct experience.” With this awareness tucked firmly in my heart, I recently headed out to the Great Smokey Mountains with my camera to experience the exuberant presence of early Spring.
I felt privileged to witness delicate blossoms which are visible for only two to three days a year before they disappear again. I especially loved the rock-strewn rivers which transformed at times into lacy cascades of waterfalls. Overhead, the movement of the clouds and mists added a mystical note by hiding and then revealing the ancient mountains.
Tapping into the spirit of the place, I felt it to be simultaneously deeply peaceful and vibrantly alive. And sure enough, these gifts of the land were also consistently reflected in the warmth and openness of the people who lived there. One evening I stopped in a local barbecue place, homey, cozy and perched so close to the river you could watch it flow by from your table. When I discovered a couple of food allergies meant I couldn’t eat anything that had been barbecued, I was of course disappointed as I turned to the salad menu. But I was immensely touched when the owner came over to my table and said that he was so sorry there was nothing he could serve me “that had been cooked by my own hands.” Suddenly my heart was much lighter.
I know now that we seek out such places in the land to experience more of our own wholeness. To remind us of our essential oneness with the living earth. I wish you great joy in your travels which deeply nourish you at all levels of your being.