Saturday, October 11, 2008

God Watching Day 11


"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now." Matthew 6:34a
The Message
Today Soul Sister S and I went to an amazing place. It is another one of those thin places. It is out on the prairie where there are rock formations that used to be under an inland sea hundreds of thousands of years ago. Over thousands of years the sand and minerals have compressed to produce a layer of stone that the Native people have come to value for pipes and other sacred objects. This pipestone, soft enough to carve, is hidden under layers of harder rock, and sometimes under ground and under water as well. Getting to it is no easy task. It cannot be done with machines or with any kinds of explosives, but only with hand tools. Since the stone is sacred, Native people are licensed to take it from the earth and carve it.
We walked the trail and took pictures. We talked with one of the Native men who was taking the stone out. He personally has been doing it for thirty-five years. Chipping it out with chisels and hammers and then lifting it up, one level at at time out of the pit. We marveled at the huge piles of rock that have been taken out of the way to get to the pipestone, one rock at a time. It's a story of incredible patience and persistence.
We also learned that the first life on the rocks is lichen, it builds little by little. Tiny plants take root in the lichen and break down the rock and turn it to soil and then bigger plants take root in that soil and grow and prosper and that is how the prairie is built on the rock. Also patience and persistence of another sort.
I have a thing for rocks. I'm not sure what it is, but it's very strong and it's very powerful. When I am losing my grounding and my sense of things, I need to go find me some very old rocks and just touch them for awhile and somehow I am all right again. It was that way today. The ancientness of them, the sense that those very stones I touched were here when the world was much younger. There is an energy there, something I feel that says God to me. I don't pretend to understand it, but I do know it's there. S saw it in me today and I felt it in myself. For a whole two hours I didn't think about pelting shoes or feel one bit anxious. I am very blessed to live less than a hour from this place that the Native people hold as sacred ground.
God has been doing things in this place for a very long time.......

3 comments:

Rev SS said...

Awesome! Your description drew me into the thin place with you. So pleased that you were able to have this peaceful, restful day. Thanks for sharing the experience with us.

mompriest said...

rock is one reason that I prefer the Rocky Mountains or even the various mountain ranges of Arizona over the Cascades...I like the rocky ruggedness of the mountains instead of the intense greenery and dense forests of the cascades - which are beautiful - but its the rockyness that speaks to me...

glad you enjoyed this day and were able to enter the thin place...

Kate said...

Pipestone! I've been there...back in 94, though I didn't get as full a tour as you did.

I did, however, buy a pipestone turtle from the man who made it. Wore it daily for years, still have it.