Hog heaven is a sacred place

Published 11:00 pm Friday, October 12, 2012

Hog heaven. That’s where I’ve been.

Now, there’s a difference between heaven and hog heaven.

Heaven is the place that the Lord has prepared for us, if we’ve been good enough to get by St. Peter and on through the Pearly Gates.

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Hog heaven is a place to waller around in all the goodness of our heavenly place right here on earth.

I’ve been wallering around in hog heaven.

Last Sunday morning was rainy and cold in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

It was the last day of the 40th Annual National Storytelling Festival and I was not about to miss it.

I pulled the blanket that was covering my knees up over my shoulder to keep out the icy wind that was blowing through the flap of the circus-like tent.

More than a thousand people filled the tent and those, who weren’t fortunate enough to get a seat, rimmed the outside, two and three deep.

All of those people were crowded together in stillness and quietness that defines a Sunday morning worship service. But, there was no pulpit, no preacher, no offering plate to be passed around. However, it was a sacred place. The perfect place for the telling of sacred stories.

What the instrument was that storyteller Rex Ellis played, I’m not sure.

It was small and he held it close. He played single notes of “Amazing Grace” and then the audience, 1200 strong, joined in the singing of the poetry.

There was something “sacred” about those singing voices – songbird like. Voices from the Deep South. Voices from Appalachia, from the Midwest, the East Coast, the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast. Voices from Canada and Mexico and those from across the “big pond.”

The voices blended into to the soft sacred sound that is Jonesborough on Sunday morning.

And, the stories flowed like sweet water from a well.

Sunday at Jonesborough is reserved for the telling of sacred stories. Stories that make their way into the deep reaches of the heart and stay with you all the long way home and beyond.

Jonesborough is where I want to be the first weekend in October and that Sunday morning is a sacred place to be.

So, if I make it to heaven, I hope the Good Lord’s got me a cabin right on the Snake River and at the base of the Grand Teton Mountains. That’s the kind of heaven I want for me.

I’ve already been to hog heaven.