Some find it in a church, some in meditation. Some find it in listening to music, some in making same. Some find it in a relationship, some in solitude.
What “it”? Sank-chew-airy. (This phonetic pronunciation note is my unofficial attempt at an easier format than the official one — /saNGk(t)SHəˌwerē/ — and I stand by my results.)
- a place of refuge or safety
- a nature reserve
That’s the Oxford Language take on the word’s meaning and it seems OK to me. Some dictionaries add “sacred/holy/consecrated” places to these two basic meanings.
Without trying to make the whole world a “safe space,” I think we all need at least one place of safety; one place of refuge from our troubles and from the world’s troubles. In addition to the sources already noted, some find sanctuary-in-the-first-sense in a sanctuary-in-the-second-sense: a nature reserve.
I am among those some. On my recent trip West I visited two nature reserves: one near Edmonton and one in Calgary, where I saw magpies, a northern flicker, a goldeneye duck with her babies, a downy woodpecker (niftly dodging my lens), mallards, common mergansers (male and female), and a female wood duck with seven babies.
There is an argument to be made that once you’ve seen one duckling, you’ve seen ’em all. I wouldn’t argue the point. What strikes me about baby ducks is not that they’re different, but just that they’re babies. What strikes me about sanctuary-in-any-sense is that it’s easier to show than to tell.