WHAT IS HOLY?
My Sunday Journal
By Dalton Roberts
WHAT IS HOLY?
The great cartoonist Bruce Bledsoe did a super-cool visual support for an article I wrote about my childhood addiction to nature. It’s a drawing of a young boy watching an anthill.
One Sunday when I was an elementary school child I spent the whole day watching a hill of ants. I broke bread up into different size lumps to see how much they could tote into their hole.
Monday morning when mother woke me to go to school I said, “Aw, shucks. I wanted to finish watching the ants.” She said, “That is as important as anything you could possible learn at school today so stay home and watch the ants.”
Mother’s grandfather was a Cherokee. In watching their communion with nature, I am convinced that racial and cultural values are transmitted through the genes. I know that I got a good shot of it. It makes me disappear into the woods listening to the wind, laying on my back and belly to feel the power of Mother Earth infuse me with energy. It makes me feed and make homes for birds and bring injured animals into my home for treatment.
Cats in the house get on my nerves because they are always breaking things I treasure and their excrement must be the foulest smelling stuff on this planet. But I have saved many cats from certain death, nurtured them back to heath, spayed them and found them a home. I cannot help it. Something deep in my soul tells me all life is sacred. I believe it’s that Cherokee blood.
Cherokee writer Joyce Sequichie Hifler writes, “The Cherokee believes that whatever the Great Spirit made is holy. A mountain, a tree, the whispering stream is holy.”
One common practice among Indian tribes was the “vision quest” where the individual goes into the woods and fasts until he/she is given a vision of their life work or their next assignment in life. Jesus also practiced this. Look at all His trips into the wilderness and his bouts with doubts. If He needed to enter isolation, silence his physical nature for a while and open up his spiritual being, how much more do we need it?
Until we realize the holiness of the Sacred Thread running through all life and see it is the same Life that runs through our own being we are missing the power of connection with other life forms. We are not savoring the diversity of the creation into which we were born.
Feel the power. Experiment with ways you can contact it. Realize if God is Life, you can be in constant contact with many expressions of the Divine. Follow the Thread – even into little anthills.