The Tiny Chapel

This enchanting little travellers’ chapel is in the Megalong Valley, a few kilometres from Little Hartley.

It was created by Sherry Weller, inspired by the many tiny roadside churches she saw along highways in the USA. Places for weary travellers to stop and rest, perhaps even a haven to retreat to after an episode of road rage. We could do with a few in Sydney.

They can also be found in Europe along with many ancient roadside shrines. Perhaps they are a gentle reminder that travel can be both dangerous and joyous. Inside, this small ecumenical space is lit by the sun through leadlight windows depicting native flora.

On my visit, I sat on the lovely old wooden bench, looking through the central window which folded open, onto bright green paddocks. The drought had only recently broken and I was grateful for the rain. This was still in the time before the pandemic and the devastating floods of the last two years. But bushfires had ravaged the Blue Mountains to the north of where I sat and so the fact that the Megalong Valley, and this tiny church, had narrowly escaped seemed like a small miracle.

As I sat, in quiet contemplation, a mob of grazing kangaroos moved into view. It was like being in a wildlife watching hide, secretly observing these furry lives amongst the serene hills of this beautiful valley.

While I can’t wait to visit again, I often fly there in my imagination, particularly when I’m having trouble getting to sleep. I imagine this little place in mist and snow, under the summer sun, or bathed by moonlight, letting it lull me into that curious other place that we retreat to each night. And I often think of the two donkeys whose paddock abuts this tiny church and who reward those who stop here by allowing them a pat. Next time I’ll be sure to carry a sweet treat with me.

 http://thetinychapel.com.au/

This post is part of the Spirit of Place series:

About sagesomethymes

Daniela is a writer, theatre producer and civic educator. She has had short stories and poetry published in: 'Prayers of a Secular World', Inkerman & Blunt; 'Blue Crow Magazine', Blue Crow Press; 'Knitting and other stories', Margaret River Press and Radio National’s '360 documentaries'. Her debut play, 'Talc', was produced in 2010. Her short play, 'Sicilian Biscotti', was produced for the launch of “Women Power and Culture” at New Theatre in 2011 and shortlisted for the Lane Cove Literary Award in 2015. Her second full length play, 'Friday', was produced by SITCO at the Old Fitzroy Theatre in 2013. 'The Poor Kitchen' was produced in 2016 as part of the Old 505 Theatre’s Fresh Works Season and was published by the Australian Script Centre in 2017 (https://australianplays.org/script/ASC-1836). It was re-staged by Patina Productions at Limelight on Oxford in 2019. She co-wrote 'Shut Up And Drive' with Paul Gilchrist and it was produced at KXT in 2016. 'Seed Bomb' was produced at Old 505 Theatre as part of the FreshWorks Season in 2019 and has been published by the Australian Script Centre (https://australianplays.org/script/ASC-2166). She co-wrote 'Softly Surely' with Paul Gilchrist and it was produced at Flight Path Theatre in 2022. She is the co-founder of indie theatre company subtlenuance (www.subtlenuance.com) Her published short stories can be read via the Short Stories tab on this blog.
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