My children are fortunate to grow up surrounded by nature, thus they have a natural attachment to the environment around them. As an avid hiker, I have always found spots in the woods that felt sacred to me and somehow spoke to my soul. My children have inherited my affinity for these sacred spots.
At six weeks postpartum, I was cleared by my midwives to resume hiking. Strapping my young babe in the Baby Bjorn, we visited our sacred grove of yew trees. Yew trees are not common here in northern CA, and they only grow in moist creek beds. The bark is an amazing shed of red, and we are blessed with the biggest yew tree we have ever seen on our property. The yew bark is used in cancer drugs, and this is my favorite tree to hug and whisper my prayers into its bark. It is my guardian, and now it is my children’s protector too. This grove is a special place, with ancient grapevines dangling from douglas fir trees and mature oaks, with two seasonal streams meeting in the grove. My daughter has suggested placing a Buddha statue in our sacred spot or hanging prayer flags, but in the end, we decided that our sacred spot is perfect the way it is.
Each person’s sacred spot is personal. Children need to have a sacred spot in nature to foster an attachment to nature, and thus have a symbiotic relationship as protector and protectee of the environment. As a teacher, I encouraged children to write about the special places they knew in nature and express their feelings towards this unique place. The stories children wrote were beautiful.
You do not need to live in the middle of the woods to have a sacred natural spot. As a child, my spot was a cave two hours from my home. The point is to take your children into the wilderness, let them experience nature, and perhaps, they will find that spot that speaks to them of the sacredness of life.