Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tintern Abbey

Sitting in a Welsh valley edged by the winding Wye River, Tintern Abbey was once a center of power and learning. Founded by the Cistercians in the 12th century, the monks went about their business for 400 years. Henry VIII took case of that. Now it is a stone skeleton, open to the sky. I stood in the nave, on green grass dotted with michaelmas daisies. I listened to the wind and looked up at the sky. The stained glass and gilding are gone but this place still holds spiritual power. Now it is a near-perfect blend of the works of Man and the works of Nature. I think the monks and abbots must be at peace with its fate.