A Poem and illustration by Jeanette Howe.

You are God’s temple and God’s Spirit dwells within you- we are temples of God’s Holy Spirit.
Why silence? This gives us an opportunity to be still with God.

7:30 am a solitary walk to Lee Bay.

Cool breeze
Cloudy sunrise
Quietness dawning upon me
A speechless meeting with a friend, returning from the shore.

Familiar sights
A sea cove,
Signs and passages
A downhill walk, a bay, where I have swum before.

Tuning into landscape
To rock and wave
To cliffs and structures soaring behind me
Turning my back to the salty sea, I gaze, from whence I came.

Breaking the silence
The sound of gushing waves
Meeting fresh water streams trickling down
Through rocks, making tiny waterfalls over emerald flames

Upward, past a noisy brook
Splashing over rocks.
And two bright birds flitting upstream “tzeet!”, “tzeet!”
Leading me back, wagging tails, lightening my mood with flashes of yellow.

A sharp turn to the left
A steep climb to Lee Abbey
And two black crows, one lame
Leading me back, to silence, to meet my darkness and brightness, some of which I hardly know.

From the first morning on a silent retreat,

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