Finding meditation in Siouxland, Mary Hill

28 Oct

While out driving about one day I came across a sign to what I thought was the little community of Mary Hill. But in fact, it is Our Lady of the Fields, a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After making the trip to my original destination, I stopped at Mary Hill on my way back home. And that is where I made the discovery of the road signs directing one to Mary Hill, one of which said it was 2 miles while the other said it was 1 mile. And the signs themselves, presumably made by the same road department are within a mile of one another. And my trip there found the actual mileage lay between 1 and 2 miles, more like 1.25 miles from the main road.

The shrine area from what I gathered originally had a church built there in 1905, but was subsequently destroyed by a storm in 2006. The shrine came afterwards. There is still a former school on the grounds. Sitting out in the country, it is a quiet place to ponder and reflect and scan the countryside and feel as though one is in the presence of God. Even though to me when I am in nature I believe that presence is always there without the added bells and whistles. Still, it is a nice stop to find by happenstance and to take time to just enjoy the moment, the solitude and to remember the little idiom, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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