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Ebook Details
  • 02/2017
  • 9781542574952
  • 280 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 02/2017
  • 9781542574952
  • 280 pages
  • $15.00
The Sacred Shed on the Edge of the Ravine
On the precipice between a life that is rapidly fading away and a new life in the offing, B.R. Bodengraven orders a pre-fab shed and creates an enchanting retreat in the back yard of her home on Boston’s storied North Shore. Part writing studio, animal blind, sanctuary, and chapel, the shed provides refuge from the “busyness” and distractions of life in the 21st century, but it also provides a sacred space for interacting with the underlying regenerative force of the universe. Inside its walls, B.R. Bodengraven disarms her “inner critic,” plays host to former selves, and observes forest creatures that come to call. In the process, she learns to be deeply attentive to what her own life can teach her. Step inside The Sacred Shed on the Edge of the Ravine to be inspired to create your own personal retreat of rest and revelation. This book is written for everyone in search of a more expansive view of their own lives, but especially for those searching to honor and integrate their spiritual experiences into daily life.
Bodengraven details her construction of a writer’s studio in her backyard on Boston’s North Shore in this contemplative paean to nature. She begins by reflecting on her decision to create the space: an empty nester, she had recently suffered the loss of a beloved pet when a transformational dream and a visit from what she deems an animal “totem” spurred her into action. She designs the section of her garden designated for the studio, preparing the land and surrounding area while awaiting the shed’s delivery, and then turns it into the refuge she seeks, aided by family and friends such as Marilyn, a potter and mystic. Bodengraven slowly divulges the pain she experienced over the premature deaths of her mother and sister earlier in her life, but mainly she lovingly describes her physical surroundings, meditates on her long marriage to her sailboat-loving husband, and contemplates the spiritual transcendence of the natural world. (In a staredown with a doe, she writes, “I am the first to look away. This seems to be the way of the wild.... I had to be the one to look away.”) Less a narrative-driven memoir than a stream of memories and ruminations, Bodengraven’s quiet work expresses her deep respect for the unknowable qualities of nature. (BookLife)
Customer Reviews on

Readers share their responses to the recently released spiritual memoir, THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE.

"Inside the Mantle of Nature"

Author B.R. Bodengraven served as the Service Leader at the Jan. 6, 2019, North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church service in Danvers, Mass.. She spoke on the theme of writing as a form of resistance to 21st-century negative messaging, online manipulation, and monetizing of our lives.

The idea, she said, is to become more spiritually resilient by making time for what she called "practices of resistance," such as daily meditation, writing, and personal reflection. Where best to conduct these types of activities? Inside the mantle of nature, of course -- preferably within one's own sacred shed or other place of natural solitude.

As part of the service, Bodengraven read excerpts from her spiritual memoir, THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE, and invited the congregation to write in response to writing prompts she devised from those excerpts. 

"The Treasure Inside Your True Self"

Members of The Crossing, a unique Christian community comprised mainly of young adults from the Episcopal tradition, gathered to explore the art of writing as a spiritual practice with retreat leader and memoirist B.R. Bodengraven.

The event was structured with alternating readings and writing prompts from Bodengraven's THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE. Both readings and prompts were chosen with an eye toward encouraging participants to mine their own lives for evidence of the Sacred. Following the writing exercises, the group gathered for community readings and reflection.The event was held at the Lindsey Chapel of Boston's Emmanuel Church on Newbury Street. The Crossing community is associated with Boston's St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral.  

"Writing as a Tool of Resistance and Resilience"

Spiritual memoir author B.R.Bodengraven conducted a "Writing as a Spiritual Practice" interactive workshop to a sold-out crowd at Rolling Ridge Retreat & Conference Center in North Andover, Mass.

 "Mining your life for interactions with the Sacred is in stark contrast to having your life mined by others for your online spending patterns, shopping habits, web search history, and GPS location -- all so you can be 'monetized' and marketed to," said Bodengraven in her workshop introduction. " Living intentionally and unearthing the Divine buried deep inside yourself is a counter-cultural activity." 

 Bodengraven asserts that reflecting on and writing about  one's interior life is a holy task; unearthing and bringing this rich spiritual life forward through the written word transforms everyday experience and encourages resilience.  

Audubon Arts & Nature Lecture Series Features a "Love Letter to the Universe"

Bodengraven's spiritual memoir rooted in the nature of Boston's North Shore took center stage at Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats Evening Lecture Series in Newburyport, Mass. During her Valentine's Day presentation, the author shared with the audience that her book, THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE, is, in fact, her "love letter to the universe."

Following her presentation and book reading, Bodengraven invited all present to take themselves away into the beauty of nature and write their own love letters to the universe. "It's not necessary to build your own shed in a remote location," she said. "Simply call up Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield to reserve their Inner Most House for the weekend." 

Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Hosts Author B.R. Bodengraven

B.R. Bodengraven was invited to be the feature speaker at the Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary's annual staff luncheon as well as at its annual Volunteer Open House. The Sanctuary, located in Topsfield, Mass., serves as one of Bodengraven's portals into the natural world and features prominently in her recently released spiritual memoir THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE.

Bodengraven's presentations emphasized the importance of developing a reverential relationship for and with Creation, understanding that the cosmos was not just created for human use, that all aspects of Creation have intrinsic value. Her book speaks to this overriding concern through journal-like vignettes and personal reflections resulting from daily interactions with nature and the process of building her shed. 

B.R. Bodengraven Co-Facilitates Writing Retreat at Historic Florida Lodge

Surrounded by the lush and historic Wakulla Springs State Park on the Florida Panhandle, author B.R. Bodengraven and fellow memoirist Charlene Marie Laure Vincent conducted a two-day "Writing Your Sacred Story" retreat in late January. The authors draw heavily from their books ( THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE  and CHANCES ARE...) in conducting their combination retreat/workshop. Through a series of readings, writing prompts, and group discussions, participants learn to write about their personal epiphanies and ensuing growth and transformations -- all of which serve as the basis for their sacred life stories.

B.R. Bodengraven Co-Facilitates Spiritual Writing Retreat in Georgia

Epworth-by-the-Sea Retreat and Conference Center, St. Simons Island, Georgia, hosted the author of THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE as well as fellow spiritual memoirist Charlene Marie Laure Vincent to facilitate a weekend retreat called "Writing Your Sacred Story."

Book Launch & Reading at Historic Gould Barn

THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE took center stage at a beautiful 200-year-old barn/public venue in Topsfield, Mass. Musicians and artisans were on hand to entertain book launch attendees!

Book Tour to Kansas to promote THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE

In early October, B.R. Bodengraven traveled to Kansas to conduct a spiritual writing workshop at the Sastun Center for Integrative Healthcare in Overland Park and deliver two book presentations and readings -- one for the Women's Conference at DeSoto United Methodist Church in DeSoto, Kansas, and another for masters and doctoral students of psychology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.  

Keynote Address & Writing Workshop at Rolling Ridge Conference Center

B.R. Bodengraven addressed the Interfaith Ministers of New England at the organization's annual spring retreat held at Rolling Ridge Retreat & Conference Center in North Andover, Mass. Bodengraven's presentation focused on her recently released spiritual memoir, THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE, as reflective of Celtic Christianity and eco-spirituality. Following her address, the author facilitated an expressive writing session based on readings from her book. 

Topsfield Spring GROW Festival Display

B.R. Bodengraven presented a book display and featured illustrations from THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE to attendees at the Topsfield, Mass., annual celebration of spring.

Topsfield Town Library Hosts Local Author Presentation

B.R. Bodengraven read from THE SACRED SHED ON THE EDGE OF THE RAVINE and discussed spiritual memoir as an ancient literary genre.

Ebook Details
  • 02/2017
  • 9781542574952
  • 280 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 02/2017
  • 9781542574952
  • 280 pages
  • $15.00