Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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On Saturday, May 26th the Cacique brought us to a very sacred site to his people. Apart from being honored at the fact that we were in a place that many Xukuru don’t even get to go to, I was amazed by the simplicity of the site and how close to nature it all was. The first stop on our journey to the site was at a small, simple hut built out of sticks and palm fronds and we stopped there for a while before climbing to the top of mountain to the main site. As soon as I saw the altar at the top of the mountain, my breath was taken away from me. I wasn’t sure what I had expected to encounter up there, but it definitely was not this. It was a simple, plain altar built out of the same rock that covered the mountainside making it indistinguishable from a distance. There was absolutely nothing spectacular about it in a architectural or decorative sense, but in a spiritual way, it was the most spectacular thing I have ever seen in my life. Although I have toured and performed in some of the great Cathedrals of Europe, this simple site was more magnificent than even the Cathedral of Notre Dame. I think that this is because we build our churches and cathedrals out of wood and stone which are often not native to the area, and we decorate them with stained glass, tapestries, and other adornments. Overall, it seems that we are trying so hard to impress someone, while this small stone altar was more spectacular than all of these because of its simplicity, and because it seemed to have come from the earth itself and the only decorations were simple white candles and the pink flowers that we picked on our climb. This was truly a sacred place and no words can completely describe the feelings of awe, inspiration, and something utterly spiritual that I felt at this place. It reminds me that spirituality does not have to be a show that only takes place in a church, but it can be something that can be felt in the simplest places. - Beth

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