It’s easy to go through the motions of life, attending to daily responsibilities, checking off our to-do lists, distracted by a wondering mind. And then something simple, yet profound, knocks us off our feet and brings us into the present moment – what Richard Rohr calls a sacred space. It might be when we have an extreme fright, when someone close is diagnosed with a terminal illness, or when we lose someone close to us. It’s like we get jolted into realizing just how temporary and precious life truly is and how little we actually control.
This sacred space can last for hours or for days, as it did when my father died. I felt disconnected from life and couldn’t understand how people could be going along doing their routine activities, while I was in a whole different matrix of living. I didn’t feel that I belonged in this world for weeks.
I found myself in this sacred space yesterday. I was walking my dog when he ran ahead of me and fell through the ice on the creek. It’s a desperate feeling, seeing your dog struggling for his life. Thankfully, while he went in over his head, he didn’t get swept under the ice by the current and I could reach him in water that was only up to my knees.
There is something simple yet profound about saving an animal, a loved one that is so close to you. It put me in a different reality all day yesterday. It helped me see the world more s-l-o-w-l-y. It opened my heart. Saving another saves your own life just a little.
I hope, today, I can hang on to this sacred space by being present to the experience of being alive. I hope, today, I can appreciate the preciousness of life. I hope today, I won’t forget about what matters.