COLUMN: Looking up for inspiration

— This little church alcove became my personal sanctuary, a safe haven in a world of change. One day, I arrived with anticipation only to find the chapel door locked. I panicked – where would I find my peace? I thought I heard music coming from inside, so I circled the building till I found an open door. I snuck in past a row of choir robes and brass candle snuffers. Gingerly I nudged open a swinging door and found the main sanctuary. It was darkened, yet the music was stronger. Nearby, someone was playing the organ. I’d never heard such glorious music. I often listened to classical radio, but this was a completely different experience. I was close enough to hear the stops change; I could hear the pedals shift. The clang and chime was near enough to hear the overtones created by the vaulted ceiling.

As it turned out, the rector’s son was a child prodigy on the organ. He was a little younger than I, and he was happy to share his music with me. He led me up to the pipe loft, where I stood and listened while he played for me. The floor shook with the sounds; I could feel the literal breeze the music created around me. “This is how I know God,” he said.

As the years passed, I found I needed something more personal than music to connect me with the Divine. And yet, I’m still drawn to that visceral memory of the chapel, and the roses and music. It all blends together in a mysterious something that defines explanation. It’s not religion; it’s not just faith or belief. A steeple – a spire – both inspires me and encapsulates my aspirations. I need something to draw my gaze away from the slush and clutter of life. I need to look beyond the horizon, to get past the difficulties and trials inherent in human relationships. I need to be reminded that there is a Being above it all, above us all, who continues to take a vital interest in the things that interest me.

Karen Abbott is a published author and the mother of four girls, raised at Abbott Farms in Baldwinsville. She enjoys quilting, teaching and home economics.

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