I'm not a religious person but I've been described as "independently spiritual." I have moments of vertical time but I always connect this less with a god and more with an appreciation of life and world and moments where overwhelming rushes of incredible beauty are overwhelming...but I've never credited a god for all of this.

There are some places that have made me feel like my life and time has stopped just so I can take in the hugeness of the moment. There have been beaches, fish, suns, moons, people, etc that have given places this feeling but what always surprised me is how churches give make me feel this way. I enter grand churchs or sometime chapels with character and I feel like I'm entering a sacred place. I take on a different attitude in these places. I don't think of them as god's home but they are definately a piece a holiness that people have somehow been able to create. I don't know if it is the grandness of the open spaces and high cielings or the beauty of the architecture and stained glass windows or the silence or that the place where I am standing gives hope, consolence and peace to the believers it welcomes. Probably it is all of these.

I remember, in France, visiting the Notre Dame and being impressed, of course, but not having the feeling. It had been turned into such a tourist trap, its holiness did not exist anymore. What affected me more was a church we stopped by on the way back from Giverny. I was with my homestay mom and she just decided to stop and show me this church and I didn't quite understand the importance of it until I went inside and she explained to me that Clovis had been baptised there. I stood infront of the fountain where he accepted god into his life and I felt the history of the country I was living in at the time. So many feelings came rushing to me as I tried to take in the details: the sculptures created to honour people or angels or saints. In this one place, history had taken place yet it was still peaceful and important for the people who visited it every Sunday. Wow.

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