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Seeking Sacred Ground | Holly Elissa Bruno

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Seeking Sacred Ground

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Excerpt from blog

Children ask: “What’s that?” We tell them. Simple as that: that’s a marshmallow, a firefly, a doorbell, a sea gull, a Baltimore oriole. We know answers. The children trust us to know or to help them find the answers. Children believe what we say. But what else is going on inside the children? If we were to go there, we would discover a process from which we might find a second chance to see our world anew.

I marveled, “What’s that?” as my parents drove by a curious one-story churchlike structure between Big Flats and Horseheads, near our house in the upstate New York countryside. My father responded: “Holy rollers.”

I had already learned my father had a quotient: he could be asked one question. But I had many more questions: Do they have a gym inside? What makes rolling “holy”? Could I become “holy” rolling?

I needed answers. I had just learned the “forward roll” at school. That roll was easy. Now my quest was to do the holy roll and maybe see the gates of Heaven. Wow! I pictured exactly how I would roll, where I would roll, and when I could roll, undisturbed by nay-saying adults.

I waited for my opportunity at our church. My mother, a devoted “church lady” with shoes dyed to match her floral hats (always set off by white gloves), frequently “did things” at the church. While she “did things,” my plan was to silently make my way to the back of the sanctuary from where blue-carpeted floors sloped down to the chancel. There I would wad up in a ball and forward roll my way into the Kingdom. Soon enough, my time had come.

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