Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Space for Contemplating Life's Journey

When I was a kid, I wandered about on an old peach orchard and plantation. The main house had been converted to a nite club called "The Cotton Patch". I stumbled upon an old fence row. The trees had grown over the old wagon path and interlaced their limbs in a sylvan prayer. In the summer I could rest upon the grass and watch the sun through the lace of leaves - the twinkling light a voiceless dialogue. In the winter the bare branches exposed their very framing and taught me the valuable lesson of process. 
In designing a chapel for Hospice, I recall that place. That sacred place. As an adult I understand more the historical connotations and layerings attached to that Southern land with pitch and tar. And yet that narrow space remains sacred. The grass imprinted on my back like a tattoo.
It brings forth the question: is a place intrinsically sacred, or do we humans (in our creative finest) make a space sacred. Is it a gift, or a construction?