I don’t suppose anywhere is really quiet, least of all one’s own mind. Trying to still one’s inner workings takes years until it no longer is a task. The best I have been able to do is store within a place and time which brought peace and recall it when needed. This is what the poet Wordsworth did in the noise and congestion of London–return to that walk way above Tintern Abbey in Wales where he found peace.
My last day in Wales not long ago I went for an early morning walk to the stone remains of an old Methodist chapel down the pathway from the farmhouse where we were staying. Only the stone remains of building remained, although a tree grew in the center of the floor once occupied by pews. And someone had put a wooden cross across the front wall.
I stood in what once was the front doorway and waited. For what, I don’t know–perhaps to settle down and gather myself for the journey home. But in a strange way, this old chapel was home, not so much a physical structure, but a dimension hidden from view but felt within. I could sense the land and the people gone before. It was what some call a “thin place,” a dimension in which time doesn’t seem to exist.
Even now in the heat and stress of life, I go back to that scene and remember. And I feel restored.