When I imagine a sanctuary, a feeling of deep peace wells up from within. This is a place where I feel safety, comfort, and perfect peace that is rarely experienced.
Sanctuary is often defined as a sacred place and a place of refuge or protection. The word stems from the Latin ”sanctus,” which means holy. In places of worship, the sanctuary is the space around the altar. There are also sanctuaries for plants and animals such as The Elephant Sanctuary, which is dear to our family.
My inner sanctuary is nurtured by quiet reflection, being present with nature, and the love from family and friends.
There are times when my inner sanctuary needs healing and repair. But with time and care and love, this space heals and once again is whole. It never fully leaves me.
I also feel called to create an outer sanctuary…offering hospitality and love to those I come in contact with as I am able. Providing a safe haven for my family…a home defined by love and care. However, being human, these are all imperfect.
I also long to create a sanctuary for nature. A place where the creatures that share their habitats with me are safe and can live into the fullness of their being. A place where squirrels can scamper freely, bunnies can lounge in green clover, and birds can fly and sing with joy upon high.
There is a statue of Saint Francis in our backyard that is symbolic of the sanctuary I hope to create. St. Francis loved all living beings and is the Patron Saint for Ecologists. As a family, we try to plant native flora, keep many natural areas, and don’t use pesticides…offering hospitality for nature to thrive in this suburban neck of the woods.
I am deeply grateful for the sanctuaries I dwell in and that dwell within me.
What does the word sanctuary evoke in you?
How can your nurture your inner sanctuary?
“Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope.”
~ From The Peace Prayer of St. Francis ~