picture by Stephanie de Bourgies
Do you have an altar where you are?A place that speaks to you of setting aside some time to dip into mystery?If you could see mine, you would scratch your head and look at me pityingly.
I have a thin glass vase that holds round,colored stones from Iona,the holy island off the Scottish coast.They were on the beach at the end of the island where a labyrinth was created.The shore is littered with them and I have never seen such rocks.I have a green and red one in my palm now.There is a black and white one the size of a goose egg and a few others of pink and white.
I earned those stones by walking through hill and dale and over piles of cow and sheep droppings to get to the labyrinth.It was there,as I walked ,that the Lord spoke in a way that I will never forget:"Don't worry about anything.I am in charge." I felt my shoulders sag,face muscles give as if a massage had been administered.Amazing experience of peace.
The table that holds my oddities was sold to me by a woman in Woodstock,New York.It cost ten dollars and looks like it is worth much less.Chipped dark paint,unsteady on its feet,it is my altar.The store is no longer in use now although we look when we drive by but I will never forget sitting on a bench near my purchase hearing "Georgia On My Mind" sung by the owner on a guitar with a bubbling creek behind.Can you say that about any table you own?Holy object.
I have a dear friend who has a special spot by a window where she places flowers for a departed loved one.Most sacred space.
The ship bell,the praying,red wooden girl,the red ornament on the rusted spring,and an old cross that belonged to the Grandmother I never knew,completes the arrangement on my altar.It never fails to please me to look at the objects that speak to me so clearly of a deeper life than the one that we see.
What would you put on your altar?