Little Pond as Sanctuary

Years ago I lay down to sleep on a buffalo robe which a man had used as a blanket on many vision quests.  As I waited for sleep, a voice spoke to me (inside my head).  The voice spoke of many things, but what I remember most clearly is a set of teachings about sacred objects like the buffalo robe itself.

Here’s my attempt at summarizing the words I heard that night:

“Certain objects or places have spiritual power/energy because of what they are, but also because of how we interact with them. When an object or a song or even a particular place is employed/engaged with intention, attention and –especially — with prayer, this energy of mindfulness and respect is imparted to it.  If we always use care and respect when we employ them, these items become more and more attuned to Spirit.  In a sense, they become like antennas to the world of the sacred.  Ceremonial objects and places which have been habitually cared for and used mindfully can serve as tools to help us in the sometimes challenging task of connecting with the spiritual side of our nature and of life.”

When I reflect back on the lessons I learned that night when the voice spoke to me on the buffalo robe, the word that comes to my mind is: “sanctify.”  Sanctify, and it’s cousin: :sanctuary,” have as their root a word that means, “to set aside for special purpose.”

The reason I’m going on about this is because to me, and to many of us, Little Pond is such a place — a sanctuary and a sacred space which has, by loving and conscientious use, become even more spirit-filled over time.

Over the years Little Pond has played host to weddings, poetry readings, Bahai feasts and gatherings, productions of plays and sacred music, and unique New Years parties where people shared stories songs and prayers instead of strong drink.  People from diverse faiths and lands have met and shared there.  Spiritual workshops, retreats, fasts, sacred dancing, sweat lodge ceremonies, men’s and women’s meetings where deep sharing and personal growth are encouraged and facilitated — all these have taken place in the woods, meadows and halls of Little Pond.

I was married on the top of the hill at Little Pond one perfect October afternoon.  I’ve fasted in a sweat lodge in the meadow, and feasted in the great room on Bahai holy days.  On a cold New Years night, I jumped over a bonfire with Iranians who shared this custom for leaving the past behind and moving toward new beginnings.  I’ve cried prayed and revealed secrets, pain and hope in meetings and ceremonies there.  At Little Pond, I’ve picked wine berries and shared the day with deer, turkeys, coyotes, owls, hawks and the many ground hogs to whom the place is holey (pun intended).  On clear nights, Winter to Summer, I’ve watched the stars and the moon dance over our sweat lodge fire. This hidden, and largely unknown retreat center, is a sacred ground to me.

Now, with the advent of this new place of sharing — the expanded Little Pond web page — I want to begin by acknowledging the power and the importance Little Pond has for many of us.  As we formulate an on- line Little Pond Community, one of my express goals and purposes is to keep strengthening this sanctuary and to continue to imbue it with the energy of intention and high purpose.