Hiis / Holy Grove

(Hiis is the Estonian word for a sacred grove of trees. Estonian cemeteries are sometimes set among groves of trees. My grandparents and great-grandparents are buried in such a grove-cemetery. It is astonishingly different, both in appearance and in atmosphere, from the flat lawns that Americans call cemeteries.)

Enter the holy grove of the heart.
Great trees loom overhead
weaving their living branches into a sky-web
that captures dreams, stars, planets.
It is perilous to remove the tiniest pebble or leaf from this place.

What offering to bring?

Light filters down through silvery leaves constantly in motion,
creating a shimmering with shadow that dances
over the graves of the ancestors.

Do they sleep? Fly? Journey?

Enter the holy grove of the spirit.
This living grove, this
dance of shadow and light,
this speaking of words in silence,
this deep listening.
This home of the dead
and the living that tend their graves.
This centering place.

Are you truly alone here?

Enter the holy grove of the past
and pull that past into yourself.
Make it part of your heart and spirit.
Make it sanctuary.

© Anita Susi 2011

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