For me the appropriate metaphor for the inner spiritual centre is a garden, a place of potential peace and tranquillity. This garden is a place where the Spirit of God comes to make self-disclosure to share wisdom, to give affirmation or rebuke, to provide encouragement, and to give direction and guidance. When this garden is in proper order, it is a quiet place, and there is an absence of busyness, of defiling noise, of confusion. The inner garden is a delicate place, and if not properly maintained it will be quickly overrun by intrusive under-growth. God does not often walk in disordered gardens. And that is why inner gardens that are ignored are said to be empty (Gordon MacDonald)
I believe the root of all happiness on this earth to lie in the realization of a spiritual life with a consciousness of something wider than materialism; in the capacity to live in a world that makes you unselfish because you are not overanxious about your own comic fallibilities; that gives you tranquillity without complacency because you believe in something so much larger than yourself (Sir Hugh Walpole)
The cathedral in Evreux was possibly built in the 10th century; it burned down in the 11th century and was rebuilt in roman style between 1126 and 1140. Fifty years later it was again destroyed. Louis 11th rebuilt it. The unfortunate cathedral was also damaged during World War II.
In the bishops home (palace) is a museum; downstairs is a Gallo-Roman archaeological dig, with remnants of the time encased in glass cases. A delightful exhibition.
Being away from the immediacy of housework needing to be done, gives me time and opportunity to be more tranquil. I have spent the afternoon by myself, wandering around; had a cappuccino at a café in Evreux, reading my book. I have found that in this medium town no-ones speaks English, it is rather arrogant of me to suppose that the inhabitants would be able to speak anything other than their home language. So I have had some interesting moments trying to communicate with them in ordering my coffee and in an attempt to get information at the tourist bureau.
I am putting my inner garden in order…