I had my first spiritual experience at about ten years old, on a family holiday on Rousay in Orkney. There are few people on this wild island, but there is archaeological evidence of ancient human habitation in abundance. One evening I left the holiday cottage for the Neolithic burial chamber in the field nearby. I descended into the chamber, removed my shoes and socks, and sat with my back against the earth wall. Closing my eyes, I inhaled deeply, savouring the scent of the deep, dark earth. Suddenly I felt transported back in time along an unbroken chain to the early farmers who buried their dead there long ago and I knew, deep in my heart, as they did, that the earth is our womb, cradle, shelter and tomb.

The ancestral connection to the earth I experienced that day is still the focus of my spirituality, the essence of which could be summed up by the phrase, ‘appreciation of the interconnected web of being.’ What is it that you hold sacred?

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