The Kitchen: Our Container

As I write this, my family and I are beginning our first day of Thanksgiving week at the beach.  It is a tradition that we established when our children were very little.  It requires planning and saving for months in advance each year.  Some years, we simply have not been able to afford it.  Other years, we said to each other while at the Beach–Merry Christmas (because that was going to be all that we could afford).  Needless to say, this has become important time and space to us.  We are grateful to be able to do this again, this year.

I realize as we move into this holiday condo that The Kitchen is another way of talking about creating sacred space.  This condo on the beach has a kitchen.  It is not our kitchen, and so we have spent the last several hours arranging our things in this new space.   It is beginning to feel a little bit like our kitchen, our space, a place where we can nourish and enjoy our family life together for the next few days.

This is a helpful metaphor for me.  Wherever I go, I have the ability with my words and actions, how I deport myself to and with others, to create space, to create a container, even if very temporary, in which sacred work can happen between me and others, the environment, animals and the world in general.  I watched a woman recently in a downtown area walking along, stop suddenly, bend over and pick up a piece of discarded plastic.  She carried it not 25 feet away to a public recycling bin and dropped in it.  With intent, action and gesture, she created a temporary sacred space, a container which drew me in, reminded me of a better way to be in the world.  She gave me a gift and never knew that I had received it.

Let us be in the world.  Let us create a container in which sacred things can happen, through which our consciousness is reshaped for a kinder, safer, and enduring world.

Bob Patrick

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