A ruined Welsh abbey sits sleepily along the bank of the River Wye. I can imagine its dreams: four-hundred years of spiritual romances washed in sepia, clutched crucifixes, and freshly tilled gardens. Tintern‘s Gothic arches rise and fall like the psalter chanted within its walls centuries ago. With grass for a floor, its windows long empty, and roof now only a memory, nature has come to meet with God in the sanctuary.

I would like to spend my waking hours there, my back against a western pillar, the dewy carpet beneath me. And as the river gurgled “good morning” and the clouds stretched out like a blanket above my head, I would finally be a part of the sacred and silent in this world.