Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finding something magical and wonderful everyday

St Clair Family Memorial - Rosslyn Chapel by litlesam

I am a traveler.  I have found in my later years that there is a bit of the nomad in my spirit.  I don't really want to move away and live somewhere foreign.  But I am nomadic in nature and want to see, visit, and explore as many places as possible.  I never know where my travels will lead me and sometimes I am surprised at where I end up.  Three years ago my partner Mark and I took a journey to Scotland to visit a friend of ours name Sue.  She invited us to her home in the hills of Penicuik.  We were unfamiliar with the area, but we knew it was near Edinburgh which fascinated us.  Sue picked us up at the airport and took us to her home.  It was a beautiful estate with gardens, hills, wild animals, and two poodles.  We visited in January, which is not the best time to visit Scotland.  Scotland is cold and rainy most of the year, but January can be the worst.  We brought warm coats, and warm night wear for our visit.  Our first day at Sue's home she took us on a tour of the ground and we noticed a church off in the distance.  It was covered in scaffolding and under repair.  We asked her about the church and she told us it was "the" Rosslyn chapel of the Da Vinci Code fame.  What?  This was the church of The Holy Grail from the novel?  She told us yes it was that same church.  We were shocked.  We had no idea this church was near her home.  What a wonderful surprise.  It was walking distance from her home.  I love unplanned surprises like this.  We should have researched a little more and been prepared for this, but finding it by surprise was much more fun.

Being a Christian and raised in a conservative Christian Church seeing the church made famous by the Da Vinci Code was perplexing to say the least.  Being a traveler and exploring cultures and history this was a true find.  How does one separate the two.  Do I look at this chapel with its history and legends as just that, legends?  Or do I go explore the chapel hoping for some mind bogging experience.  I am a skeptic.  I have many beliefs that have been in my mind since childhood.  But this was no accident.  I was here completely unaware for a reason.  Is this the actual location where the descendants of Jesus survived.  Are the St. Clairs who still claim ownership of the property the true descendants of Mary Magdalene and Jesus?  There are so many questions without any answers.  But I did see the chapel.  And I saw the memorial and grave of The St. Clair family at Rosslyn.  It was an experience that I will never forget. 

I have been to many other places that have spiritual significance to many religions.  I have been to Fatima where the the legend of the Holy Mothers appearance is significant.  I have been to Machu Picchu where the Inca created a spiritual hiding place.  I have visited the locations of where my ancestors left Europe and immigrated to the United States.  All of these places have their importance and their mark on my history and my beliefs. 

But my friend Sue lives in a beautiful home in the hills of Penicuik where she sees the Rosslyn Chapel from her window everyday.  Its common place for her.  Does that make it any less special, or magical, or spiritual?  I don't know.  I worked in Washington DC for ten years.  I walked past the Capitol Building everyday on my way to work.  It became just another building I saw daily.  But to tourist on the visitors bus its magical and wonderful to see see the Capitol for the first time.  I look at my life each day and try to find something special.    I want to experience a Rosslyn Chapel everyday.  Some days its difficult to find that special moment.  But if I take time, reflect on my blessings, and forget about my problems, there is a Rosslyn Chapel in my horizon everyday.  Its my job to find it.

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