I don't know when the convergence of the ancient and the contemporary began to inspire me. Perhaps it was those spiritual breezes in a place that seemed to bring me to another time. The kind of breezes, that when I close my eyes, I can see, feel, smell, and hear the murmurs of history reverberating through the very atmosphere of a place. Perhaps, what is most enduring to me is also most endearing.
In every place, especially every place where human feet have trod, there is a story: there is history; there is legacy. Sometimes all that is left is the name of a place; perhaps, a few symbolic markers or trinkets. Sometimes the natural beauty of a place is breathtaking. Sometimes the human craft, architecture and artistry combined, to create a sense of awe. Sometimes, it is the story or the purpose that can propel a person through time, transcending the normal barriers of linear extistence. The age of structures is not important as the transendence of time, the reaching beyond this current life, is not about age, but about spirit. So, when I travel, I usually research the area, the city, the region for those places of history - but always looking for that place of transcendence.
I believe everyone should be conscious of their own history, their family history, their ancestry. Also, I believe it is important to be conscious of the history of the land where one lives, knowing all the sacred places and places of spiritual healing and refreshment.
This led me and my wife on a journey to write a book on sacred places of all the people where we live. Well, we thought of the Midwest primarily - starting in our own back yard: Wisconsin. Over ten years ago, I began indepth research of historic and ancient places of religious and spiritual significance in Wisconsin. This resulted in the book by my wife Teres and I called "Sacred Sites of Wisconsin," published at the end of 2001 by Wisconsin Trails Books - ten years ago. Later, we did the same for Minnesota. I began researching other states (Iowa, Illinois and Michigan primarily), but the publisher changed hands and the plans were postponed.
Since that experience, almost every trip we have taken has included some sacred places - and I bring my camera.
Trail Books was eventually bought by Big Earth publishing in Colorado.
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