Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The sacred feminine

The Shaw Island Library was open yesterday afternoon, and they have a wireless connection, so I took my husband there with his computer so he could check his email, and I went off to Neck Point, the farthest tip of the island, where we lived for three years in a rented cabin perched in the trees on a cliff above the water, looking south toward Friday Harbor.

The very tip of Neck Point is separated from the rest of the island by a narrow neck of land, just wide enough for a two-lane road, with beaches on both sides. The northwest-facing beach looks out to a small wooded island, a couple of docks, the mountains of Canada, and some of the most glorious sunsets I’ve ever photographed. The southeast-facing beach is separated from the road by a tidal lagoon stacked high with driftwood: the winds here are almost always from the south, and the beach itself houses one of the finest driftwood collections I’ve seen apart from the amazing ocean beach at LaPush.

It was here, walking this beach with my camera after my mother died, that I got my start in photography, and it was lovely to visit my old friends: many of the larger and more striking pieces of driftwood have been here at least 15 years, and though the day was dry so they were bereft of the beautiful colors they take on when wet, they were still calling to me.

This one, for example, which I have photographed many times and from many angles, speaks to me of the sacred feminine which we characterize so often as Mother Earth – perhaps because I’ve just been re-reading Alice Howell’s The Dove in the Stone: Finding the Sacred in the Commonplace, in which she says:

“The new theology speaks of a ‘creation-centered spirituality.’ For many of us this means a return of the goddess – or the feminine aspect of the Godhead – fostering a love and appreciation of our planet and its creatures, and a new ecology. If any stone is the House of God, by extension, the Earth itself is mother to meaning, to consciousness.”

I’ve never been one for goddess-worship, but I have come to know the feminine aspect of God (in my church we speak of “the Holy Spirit, who broods over creation like a mother over her children”), and know also that I feel closer to that feminine spirit here, on this tiny island, than I have anywhere else in the world.


Maureen said...

Neck Point on Shaw must be a glorious place to visit.

D.M. SOLIS said...

This is beautiful. Taking it in. Thank you, peace,


Holly said...

Sounds divine and a truly evocative photo of the divine feminine.