Sacred Spaces: Tonja Hemphill

In “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” Annie Dillard writes, “Self-consciousness, however, does hinder the experience of the present. It is the one instrument that unplugs all the rest.” 

She goes on to write that it is our very self-consciousness that separates us from each other, from God, from our self. It keeps us from living in the present moment and living unfiltered experience.

These photos are an homage to the spaces where our souls feel free, the places where we can still ourselves and simply be. They are places where we can put down our hard work and feel at one with ourselves in each moment. Places where deeply meaningful things have happened in our lives and where deeply meaningful people have come into our lives. They are spaces absent of self-consciousness. They are meaningful. They are sacred.

Here, Tonja Hemphill shares her place of sacredness. Let’s allow beauty to help us realize the sacredness of the spaces we inhabit, and the sacredness of our very selves.


Tonja Hemphill

The River Walk

Being on the river brings back memories of my first date with my husband, Kenneth. He lived in Memphis, Tennessee, and he came up to visit me for the first time after we had met. He picked me up from work with no plans; I asked him what he would like to do. He asked, “Is that the river down there? If so, I would like to go down there if we can.” We stopped at Port Cape for an ice cream and headed down to the river. We talked and watched the barges go by. He was fascinated with the mural wall and all of the historic displays. Now every chance we get, we visit the river as often as possible, and it always reminds me of our first date.

Clothes: Leona’s Porch Home Decor & Gifts in Perryville, Missouri


Photos by Mia Pohlman