Ancient Cathedral

Redwood Cathedral

On the trail at Mount Hermon, a world away from home, I step into an ancient cathedral on sacred California ground. Red-brown priests stand tall, rough to the touch, embraced, entwined in ivy, swaying in the wind. I feel dizzy in their presence. They worship in creaks and groans beside a creek baptismal, that ripples the love of God into my soul with quiet gurgles, flips and dashes.

I wind my way down a steep path, lose my footing, swallow hard, wonder how I will ever ascend. Until I reach water level, sit in the soft sand beside the creek's turns, reflections, cleansing promises.

My mind is pressed with the incense of rotting twigs, fallen leaves, and the priests who yet wave heavenward on every side. I forget to dip my hand, cross myself "Father, Son, Holy Spirit". Too much in awe of this place, I lose my sense, my practice and leave without the liquid blessing.

Still. I see, remember. The ancient cathedral will always be mine.

Sun in the Redwoods photo, by L.L. Barkat.


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Blogger Sarah said...

So beautiful...the words, and the place you describe. I feel like you can breathe there, and be. I love the fact that this has so much meaning for you, so much presence, so much "stuff."

5:54 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Sarah... thank you. It was a lovely place, and it does indeed have a whole lot of meaning, presence and "stuff". I cherish the time I had there.

6:10 PM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...


11:03 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Blue... my sentiments exactly.

11:14 AM  
Blogger kirsten said...

beautiful words: the trees as priests; that strikes me as true.

i love that though we walked this trail at different times, we have the shared experience of finding God, of finding holiness in that place. of finding peace away from the din. so much happened there ... just beginning to unfold ...

11:21 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Kirsten... it was a rather mystical experience, yes? And I look forward to the unfolding, over time, as the fragrance from those courts of God begins to seep deep into your soul.

12:43 PM  

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