|My buddies and I at our High School Graduation|
In our secret special spot we had pounded a stick into the ground and called it, very ingeniously, The Stick. When we needed to have emergency meetings we would simply tell one another to "Meet me at the Stick" and we all knew where to go. It was our secret spot. At times it felt almost sacred to me because of the brotherly feelings and friendship we developed in that place. I would often visit The Stick alone to think because if felt so good to be there. Now, six years later, I still visit. The Stick is gone, the brush is overgrown but it still feels good to sit. For my group of friends it was a sanctuary of sorts.
I have my own special place like that. My personal private secret special spot. By my house is a mountain trail, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, on which I love to mountain bike. If you bike along the trail you reach an incline. Travel up the hill and you will reach some radio towers way up high. Before you reach the towers there is a path that goes right, up a small hill, down a bit, and you find some rocks overlooking the whole valley.
lmost as though I had to pay the physical price to reach my spot where I would be given the answer to the questions I had. I had to make the journey to get my answer.
I feel like everyone needs a sacred secret place. Recently I was reading East of Eden and John Steinbeck explains such a place in a conversation between two characters. Adam Trask is walking in the woods with his father Cyrus. Adam shows his father the little stump where he used to hide. Cyrus replies, "I knew about it long ago. Once when you were gone a long time I knew you must have such a place, and I found it because I felt the kind of place you would need. See how the earth is tamped and the little grass is torn? And while you sat in there you stripped little pieces of bark to shreds. I knew it was the place when I came upon it." Adam, quite astounded, asks why his father never came looking for him there. "No," Cyrus replied, "I wouldn't do that. You can drive a human too far. I wouldn't do that. Always you must leave a man one escape before death. Remember that!"
|A picture of the trail. Courtesy of|
Just as much as we need to have our secret special place, I feel we must have a sanctuary inside. Where we hold what we know and who we are. Where we should be open to learn and think about new things, but also protect from invading "home developers" who destroy the sureness and serenity that comes to one who "knows" themselves.
We need to have a special place within and without.