How Quiet is Quiet?

The bell rang ten times at Stanton’s only church.  A church older than the first settlement at Jamestown.  I sat on a wooden park bench in pitch black, save for the illumination of a street lamp older than my state, with its soft yellow light barely giving form to the hedges, likely older than the furthest generation in which I can trace my heritage, in front of cottages built by wool barons but now occupied by millionaires who disappear with the sunset.

It’s so quiet that I can hear the subtle crackling of tobacco as I draw on my cigar.  The quiet clink of my steel flask as I drop the lid is almost deafening.  This is it.  This what I came for.  This little strip of grass, flanked by Disneylandesque manicured shrubs, has not been altered by modern times.  This park bench still entertains the sounds of shoed horses – at least as much as cars.  This has not been fabricated.  It has been preserved.

On stiff legs, I hobble and wobble and swagger back to my inn in perfect serine darkness, extinguish my smoke and say good night to Mr. Elijah Craig.

How can I describe magic?  Pure alchemy.  What an amazing evening of solitude.

I spent the pre-dusk portion of my evening at Stanton’s only restaurant, the Mount Inn.  Amazing beer and food that were trifling compared to the view.  IMG_2023


The sun setting behind the spire of Stanton’s church


Tomorrow, 13 miles through Winchcombe and on to Cleeve Hill.  Day one: unmitigated success.  Smoking, sipping in silence. Satisfied in Stanton.

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