Sacred Spaces

Do you have a place you like to go to feed your soul? A place that makes you feel alive and connected?  A place that lets you bask in solitude while never feeling lonely?  A place that is romantic, sad, happy, and uplifting all at the same time?
Dress:  eShakti (Available here)
Bracelet:  New York & Company (Available here)
For me, that place is Cahokia Mounds.  Cahokia Mounds is often regarded as the largest pre-historic Native American settlement north of Mexico and was inhabited by the Mississipian culture.  I was lucky enough to grow up walking distance from the remnants of this intriguing civilization.   The largest mound is Monk's Mound, the largest man-made earthen structure in the western hemisphere.  It has a staircase that takes you up to the top for a view of the St. Louis cityscape, local farms, and industry.
View from the bottom - The first level of Monk's Mound (side view)
View from the bottom - Top level of Monk's Mound (side view)
View from the top:  St. Louis skyline in the distance
My grandpa was an honorary Sioux and had a large Native American artifact collection (most of which was found locally) that attracted the occasional archaeology professor to him.  He was not a schooled man, but he was the most brilliant man I ever met.  He taught me a strong appreciation for ancient cultures and history as well as a love and respect for modern diversity that I attribute to bringing me to the fields of anthropology and then sociology as a college student.  I attended several powwows with him as a kid, and I've always seen the Mounds as a special place in part because of the connection to him.  When he left us a couple of years ago, some of his ashes were spread at the Mounds, making this place infinitely more sacred to me.

As a child, the Mounds was simply a fun place to go on school field trips or on outings with my mom or grandparents.  I was fascinated by Woodhenge, wooden posts in circular shapes that served as calendars and observation/ceremonial centers for changing seasons.  I imagined what this area would have looked like before so much of the Mississippi river bluffs were cut down for human expansion, and I wondered what it would have been like to live in the urban center of Cahokia.

One of the circles, re-built in its original location
As a young adult, the power of nature and the significance of this place was shown to me.  I was twenty-five.  I was pregnant with my son.  I was single, lonely, scared, sad, and confused.  Mixed up in a toxic off-again relationship, I thought my world was imploding.  I knew that I loved my unborn child more than anything, but I just didn't have the confidence that I could make it by myself. 

I went to the Mounds alone to attend a powwow.  I walked around the various booths and took in the sights, smells, and sounds of the event.  I couldn't shake my emotional distress though and fearful thoughts came flooding in.  Walking around, I suddenly became acutely aware of the natural energy around me, and I opened myself up to taking it in.  I felt the power of nature take over - I felt the sun on my skin and the force of the wind course through me.  I felt the connectedness of all life, and it was at that moment that I smiled, tears in my eyes, and I knew that everything would be okay.

Moccasins:  Minnetonka (kids) (Available at Rosa's Lost Treasure Chest)
Necklaces:  LOFT and The Limited
Now, everything wasn't all rainbows and unicorns after this, of course, but that moment was life changing and soul-affirming.  And, it only makes perfect sense that several years later, on the first "date" with my love, that we went to the Mounds, and my then three-year-old son took his hand and called him "daddy."  :-)

It feels a little weird to have such deep love for a place, but when a space has meant so many things over the years, it is impossible not to feel a soul connection.
A Portion of the Rebuilt Stockades
Do you have a sacred space?

For this dress in another look, see here.


  1. My sacred space is the farm I grew up on, now a community green space. It was in the family for 150 years, had views of a lake, woods, and so many spots that just radiated peace. Walking anywhere in those spots any time of year, getting away from my not great family, was soothing. I went back to the land 2 years ago, and walked it with my new family, and it was just as powerful.

  2. That's wonderful that you could go back and enjoy this space with your new family. I love that I get to share the Mounds with my kids now. :-)

  3. I don't really have a sacred place but yours is really beautiful and I love all the stories behind it. I think it's great to have a place that has so many memories and emotions attached to it. I wish I had a place like this in my life that I could go to when I needed to forget a little. But yeah I really love your dress! :)


  4. Curious, but have you tried belting this dress? I really like the dress, but I feel like I would want to belt it to give me more shape...

  5. I haven't tried yet, but I was actually thinking about trying it with a belt the next time I wore it. Stay tuned! :-D

  6. Thanks Nina! It is nice to have this place. I don't come here very often anymore, but my fiance and I are actually thinking of getting married here.

  7. I enjoyed both your outfit and your story here. First off, the dress is lovely along with the comfy shoes. As for this sacred place, this is just a fabulous story of yours. The setting is a wonderful one. Again- I enjoyed both your outfit and your story.


  8. Thanks John!! I love this place, so it is nice to share it with others. :-)


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