I decided to return to the Bryn Athyn area to visit the cathedral grounds – I was in the area a couple of weeks ago at the Bryn Athyn College ice rink across the street. (In fact, I stopped there for a few minutes today – one lone skater was hard at work smashing a hockey puck all over the ice). The college and the church, or to call it what it is, a cathedral, are all affiliated with the New Church, a Christian denomination based on the teachings of Emmanuel Swedenborg. The cathedral was built in the manner of medieval trade guilds, all working together on the grounds.
I had not visited the site for many years, though I drive by it fairly often. It is a majestic building and it’s set on a hill overlooking a long valley. Standing on this side of the building, you have two sights that really are worth taking time to study and enjoy – the cathedral façade on the one hand and the valley on the other.
I set the sunshine in a seating area consisting of a square of stone benches set a little below ground level. I wanted to be respectful to the church and not to leave it set on the building itself, but near it.
After putting it in place, I walked around for a few minutes. It’s very cold today and a brisk wind blowing made it seem colder. But the scene was peaceful and serene. As I went along the side of the building all I could hear was the rustling of dead leaves on some small trees and the sound of the wind against the stone walls. I felt alone – the good kind of alone that is not lonely, but in tune with the surroundings.
I love the details in the building – the care and attention the builders put into the structure, to make it beautiful, to make it endure, and to make it a tribute to the divine. All these were their aims, I think, and they created a place of peacefulness and calm.
I noticed a sign for tours. I hope to return and take one – not to leave a sunshine but just to enjoy seeing the rest of the building.
You can find out more about the Sunshine Project here or you can search the category “Sunshine Project”. Either or both! It’s up to you.