In the previous blog, I told you a little of the silence I experienced today at Historic Bok Sanctuary and how that silence leads me to a deeper closeness with God. My wife also meditated at Bok Tower today. We followed our usual habit of enjoying lunch from the Blue Palmetto Café on the quiet outdoor patio before splitting up to head off to our favorite quiet spots. Today for her it was in the gardens, but a good distance from the Tower. She said that there were others there too doing the same — meditating and soaking in the beauty.
I brought the Benedictine Daily Prayer which is a book used for praying the Divine Office. I was carryied the computer and “Sacred Reading,” by Michael Casey which is our current reading assignment given by the abbot. And I had my fanny pack, hat and a light jacket because after lunch the temperature was still in the 60s and it was a little windy up on the Ridge. All my bags were getting heavy by the time I arrived at my favorite spot on the Trail with a grand view for miles stretching off to the east. Orange groves are at the base of the little hill on which the Sanctuary’s property sits and I could smell the scent of orange blossoms.
So I sat down on the bench and after a while sat on the ground and used the bench as a handy table for the computer. Although I was in the middle of the state with the Atlantic ocean about 60 miles to the east and the Gulf of Mexico about 60 miles to the west, I knew there were people enjoying the beaches on both sides of Florida. But where I was sitting — high on the ridge in the center of the state — was also a beach, actually part of the most ancient beaches in Florida. Millions of years ago, only this Ridge was above sea level, an island in a larger sea.
The silence today helped me hear God. Ancient places amplify that silence for some people — I am one. Antiquity helps separate me from distractions. And this is the most ancient land in Florida.
So, I enjoyed the beach with all my fellow Floridians today — except the beach I went to was really really old!
How old is it? It is so old that the ridge’s scrub vegetation and wildlife ecosystem is found no where else in the world. The Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge was the first refuge created for endangered and threatened plants, though wildlife and plants are not the only ones finding refuge here.
In silence and on that ancient beach, I prayed using the Benedictine Daily Prayer, wrote the previous blog, took some pictures, and listened to the soft sounds that came from the Bok Carillon Tower. Edward Bok once said, “Not only must the carillon be in tune, the hearers must be in tune with the carillon.” It felt that way today.
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