by Beth Haley
I have passed this site in Beaufort, SC many times during my travels for work. Today, instead of wishing that I had time to stop, I made time for a few quiet moments to investigate.
The Church of Prince William’s Parish, known as Sheldon, was built in the 1740s. It has been burnt twice. First, by the British army in 1779, and again by the Federal army in 1865.
What you notice first from the road are the pillars.
They draw you in for a closer look.
As I entered the grounds, I felt like I was stepping back in time, and that if something could be said at all, it should be done in a hushed tone.
There is an intriguing play between light and shadow filtering through skeletal remains, ancient branches, and fluttering leaves.
Graves dating back to the 1700s have survived the years despite being vandalized.
Sheldon was built on the plantation of the royal governor of South Carolina (1737-38), Col. William Bull, and this altar still remains along with the marker for his grave.
I don’t always stop during the business of the day to tune in or be mindful and connected on a deep level.
At times, it doesn’t feel like the right time or place. Sometimes I don’t want to see so much or feel so deeply.
Sometimes it takes a “stepping away” from the over-trodden path, to connect in a deeper way than I would normally while stuck in traffic, or while negotiating the hallways of a hospital with a blind patient.
But then, sometimes when you least expect it, a specific moment and space opens up and renders itself so well to an opening of the senses that it is undeniably the right time and right place.
What do you see?
What do you feel?
What do you hear?
What do you taste?
What do you smell?
It’s amazing how much more I see and notice when I focus on the five senses.
I want to say I’m grounded in this moment.
And I am.
…if one can taste time and age, then I have also stepped into the past where what has been, and what is now, is like the dance between light and shadow: it tastes both bitter and sweet at the same time.
To mindful moments…
If a favorite moment in your day had a flavor, what would it taste like?