A few days ago I took a quick redirection in my plans for the night and decided to drive over to one of my favorite places. I place I rarely visit anymore because we’ve moved super far up north and normally aren’t around to visit. A place that I’ve always come to since I was a kid. to enjoy the gardens. To listen to the sound of the wind blowing through the quartz walls. To relax and recenter.
I had gotten into a semi-argument.. not really.. just stressful life reaching the top of a tipping point inside of my head, prior to deciding to go there. I was originally planning on spending the night driving around for Amazon. Also, a nice time spent. Especially with the windows down and some good music.
But that wasn’t going to be strong enough to get me into a good mindset again. So I cancelled my shift and drove on over to the Baha’i temple in Wilmette.
I walked up to it and already felt a sense of calm. The gardens were in full blood, fountains always and bubbling all around. People walking around, softly talking and enjoying the flowers.
I walked up the stairs and walked inside. A nice man came up and gave me a little book of prayers. I normally am not one for prayers but it actually felt really nice to have a little book to read from and guide my mind in a direction of grace vs. pain.
So I sat down in the middle, last few rows from the back… and I just sat there. It’s truly remarkable the silence and yet loudness of quiet. You start to hear so many sounds you normally would miss. My favorite is the hum of the walls when the wind picks up. The walls are made of a combination of I think, marble and quartz. They’re white and they sparkle in the light. The quartz causes the walls to almost sing, when the wind blows through. Truly magical.
So I sat there and then started to read from this little book. Prayers on peace, on suffering, on happiness etc. of course, now that I’m in a temple, my phone decides to start vibrating away as the stresses of the hours past, seem to start resolving themselves.
I answered my buzzing phone (text messages) and put it face down on the seat next to me. I sat there for quiet a while just breathing. Trying to think good thoughts while trying to calm my mind.
The entire building is a big circle. You stare up at any wall and it’s covered in detailed designs. The sun shines through each window, bouncing off the walls, the floor, the designs, the flowers. This is where my eyes wondered as my mind relaxed. Once I finally felt semi at peace I decided it was time to move on. I thanked the temple for the peace it brought about and took my body out into the gardens and over to the lake nearby. I spent the next few hours walking around outside, sweating (‘twas very hot) and exploring the various beauties nature provides us.
We normally don’t see them. Face in phone. 24/7. Surrounded by media and people trying to shove ideas into our lives from every direction. But nature? Nature doesn’t do that. Nature just is. The sun rises and sets everyday. The clouds travel through the sky. The birds go about their day, nothing trying to convince you to do something, buy something or somehow act in some way.
It’s seriously refreshing.
Long story short, I ended up back at the temple, but instead of going in, I came up by a bed of flowers on the sunset facing side of the temple. I laid down next to them, with my head propped up on my backpack, and I proceeded to lay there for the next hour. I watched the sun set on the temple. The yellows turn to soft pinks. Shadows creeping into the crevices of the windows. I listened to the birds sing and watched them dance around the sky, paired with dragonflies, butterflies and clouds. I listened to the bubbling of the nearby fountain and was even joined by a family of bunnies who watched the sunset for a bit too.
I don’t think I’ve felt that much at peace in a very long time. All from what? Spending some time in nature. I wanted to share this with you, and urge you to try and spend some time out there as well. For your soul, for your mind, for your wellbeing. Self care and self love isn’t always baths and crystals, sometimes it’s taking time out of the day just for you. To do what feeds you.
This fed me. ❤️