By Scott Shephard
The central element in a Gothic cathedral, such as the one pictured here, (in Chester, England), is properly called a "nave." The term nave was inspired by the thought that the steeply pitched roof above the gold vaulting in the cathedral ceiling looks like the the hull of a ship turned upside down. Think "navy."
But "Santuary" is the title of this post because Gothic cathedrals were also seen as places of safety in medieval times. Such was the power and authority of the Church in those days that if you were being pursued by the the various arms of the "crown," all you had to do was to enter a Cathedral, and you were safe from arrest and harm.
On the day Deb and I visited the Chester Cathedral, we found a different kind of sanctuary. We left the busy streets of Chester and stepped into the subdued light and pure silence of the nave. We only had a few minutes inside this amazing place but I could have spent the whole morning here.
I can't speak for Deb, but I remember feeling both small and embraced by this space. It's the same feeling I get when I manage to get north of our town and step out of my truck onto the South Dakota prairie on a quiet summer day.
Canon 5DIII 1/60s f/3.5 ISO2000 16mm