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In your imagination, remember the very first place you felt scared, and care for it.

Quote of the day: “What I stand for is what I stand on,” poet-farmer Wendell Berry once quipped. Or is it just a quip, a minimalist aphorism?  Is it instead all-encompassing if you take it for all its dimensions?

Commentary: The great Jewish scholar and theologian of the prophets, Abraham Joshua Heschel once contrasted religions that are deeply rooted in place with the more universal, cosmopolitan ones that have become placeless, able to be practiced anywhere, somewhere or nowhere. Saint Francis had allegiance to the spirit he felt in particular places: Monte Subasio, and the caves of La Verna. Where do you stand on sacred ground?

Suggested Action 23: How placeless has your own spiritual practice become? Close your eyes and remember the very first place where you felt the sacred, where you knew that patch of earth—not somewhere else — was hallowed ground. In your imagination, go back to that place and care for it. As poet Galway Kinnell once wrote, “Kiss the mouth that tells you, here, here is the world.”

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Gary Paul Nabhan aka Brother Coyote is a professed member of the Ecumenical Order of Franciscans, a graduate of the Living School, a conservation biologist, orchard-keeper and story-teller.

 

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