holy ground

Camellia blossom and ant seen yesterday at the South Carolina Botanical Garden.

The plants that flower in January are particularly precious.  I realized I was even holding my breath as I approached this spot of color in an otherwise sepia landscape yesterday.  Pewter clouds swirled overhead, veiling the light, and the scent of cedar rose from the path like incense with each footstep I took.  Water moved in the distance, leaving a faint trace of music on the air.

If it weren’t so cold out, I might have taken off my shoes.  I know how to recognize holy ground by now.

Though it is really the moments that are holy.  On another day, in another season, under a different sky, I might not have perceived the holiness in this pocket of the world.  I am learning, slowly, to realize the sacred dimension is always there.  The tricky part is waking up whenever I forget and begin sleepwalking again.

Awakening can wear many masks.  This one was so beautiful.

How are you today?  Are you awake, asleep, or somewhere in between?

12 Responses to “holy ground”

  1. “I am learning, slowly, to realize the sacred dimension is always there.”

    i’m trying to learn this too.

  2. Beautiful, Meredith. Today I am wide awake thanks to a biting north wind and 2 dogs that love an outdoor romp 😉 And, yes, if you look for the extraordinary in the ordinary you have such an enriched life. Simple things bring the most complex and beautiful moments.

  3. Wide awake, I think. The camellia is lovely and what a great photograph of it. My sister and I decided to drive by our grandparents’ old home that has belonged to someone else for 20 years now. The camellia bush, at the corner of an otherwise foreign looking house, was still there standing sentinel.

    • Isn’t it amazing how plants can endure through the generations and form such a lovely part of our place memories? When I was growing up, my grandparents lived in a farmhouse nearing 160 years old. It’s since crumbled to dust, but the two huge live oaks that used to flank it are still there, raising lichen-stained branches to the sky.

  4. Lovely photograph and thoughts. Your writing is very poetic and beautiful Meredith. Carol

  5. Every open camellia blossom here is brown from freezing nights. There are hundreds of tight buds that hold the promise of great beauty when this awful cold ends. The C. sasanqua is more or less done for the season. It knew to open everything during the warmer days of December. Some of the C. Japonicas have never opened a bud yet. Perhaps they know how to measure the cold. I’m wide awake, hoping for some sunshine soon.

    • Nell Jean, I saw a lot of browned petals at the botanical garden, too. I hope many buds will hold tight and survive these incredible low temps we’re having. It’s affected everything I had left in the garden: apple mint, sorrel, a few scraggly radishes. Even my parsley fainted last night, and it was the star of the winter garden. I’m worried about my garlic, too. Will it make it through until fall?

      Cross your fingers!

  6. What a beautiful post Meredith

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