Site 8

Silence Protected by a Tree – path from Minster Yard to the Bishop's Palace

Find the tunnel through the high stone wall along the escarpment side of the cathedral. After passing through, you come upon the silence held by the large Chestnut tree at the elbow of the path leading to the 12th century Bishop's Palace. Here you have choices – to your immediate left is a grass path, which goes nowhere, at the base of the wall and partway along are two wooden seats to sit on, or you can walk the zig-zag paths down under the tree.
This calm space is like resting with a great sandstone cliff looming at your back while contemplating the far horizon before you, the silence of seclusion. Do you hear the Peregrine Falcons soaring overhead from their nest on the cathedral tower? Roman grapes ripened in vineyards on the cliff-side below you (and a small vineyard has recently been planted in the palace ruins). Are there chipper sounds of small birds, scent of roses, warmth from the captured sun? Drop into listening, have sounds arrive to your 'hearing' sense – these are your present moments.
While some things may be silent, all things have the power of expression. The tree stands big-heartedly protecting the silence and holding you in restful quiet.