This morning I was cleaning off a fossil dinosaur bone that I acquired about six months ago. It’s probably a bone from a Triceratops . It comes from the Morrison formation out West and the Triceratops was like the buffalo of the late Cretaceous – herds and herds of them. Nothing too exciting as far as any professional paleontologist would be concerned; it’s probably a fragment of a rib.
As I was cleaning it, however, I noticed a small, round pebble in the matrix clinging to the bone. The pebble probably came from the riverbed where the remains of the animal washed up when it died. So, for a moment there while I sat in my pajamas in the basement of my modern suburban home, I was transported back about 65 million years ago in my imagination. That tiny little pebble served as my touchstone to a long extinct world.
The best definition I’ve ever heard for the word “sacramental” is this – a thing, moment, ritual or experience which opens you up to the reality that each of us is connected to something much greater than ourselves. Fossils do that for me.
What’s sacramental for you?
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)