Bath Quakers held a “day of quiet” in the Old Barn on Kelston Roundhill Saturday 3 Sept 2016.We used the new furniture acquired in the B&B Marquees liquidation.
The Meeting used the barn as a place to unwind, reflect in peaceful quiet, enjoy contemplative walks and reflect on pictures and objects in a carefully facilitated light-touch programme. We were pleased to be joined by a distinguished Tibetan guest from Dharamsala, Geshe Yeshi Gawa.
We considered the distant and more recent past of the place, including the change in purpose and the disruptive works necessary to get on that path, and the many memories held on the hill. It’s clear that the hill has many happy associations for people who have engaged with it over time: childhood memories, romantic engagement, the wonder at the view and the sense of place, the joy of a beautiful memorable walk, or the sense of homecoming. There are also more sombre memories of lost loved ones or episodes of self-harm.
We considered all of this, also our own busyness and concerns, and how powerfully the peace, quiet and beauty met our immediate and deeper needs.
For lunch we ate local cheese with wild mustard leaves from the abundant flowering plants that have self-seeded among the newly sown rye grass and clover. During the afternoon a large hare came and stopped outside the window and stood still while we admired its flecked colouring, its poised strength and its clear unblinking eyes giving nothing away.
Friends in the Old Barn, using pictures in a contemplative frame of mind.
The feelings shared as the rain beat down outside included that the barn was a place of safety, the well-tended farm suffused in caring compassion. Instead of the inevitable element of anxiety that comes with rebuilding and transition the Meeting shared a quiet confidence and joy.
It seems ideal to use the barn as a safe space for contemplation and reflection.