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  • Rev. Tracey Russell

Where Is Your Place of Peace?

Dear Saints,

My mother sent me an article this week about a place I used to visit often with my son Conor-the Caroline Black Garden.  In 2001 this garden received an international award as a “garden of peace”, and a place of peace it is. Established in 1928 by Professor Black, the garden hosts a Japanese water garden and is enclosed by towering walls of bright rhododendron flowers. There are red maples and flowing willows, purple iris, and sunny daffodils. Conor and I used to walk just a block up the street in the small city we lived in. We stepped off the sidewalk and hiked into some very ordinary looking woods, but when we came upon the 70-year-old walls of rhododendron, and slid past their glossy leaves, we emerged in a secret wonderland. Inside the garden were the sweet smells of flowering trees and lilacs, the gurgle of a gentle stream, and the lullaby of birds.  That garden of peace is a precious memory to me. My dear friend and mentor Linda Sargent first sent me there. She knew that as a very busy, but lonely single Mom, the garden would bring me peace.

As I settle into a new city, here in Washington, I am finding new places of peace. This morning, I spent some peaceful time sitting in the corner of my living room. I have a soft chair, with windows on both sides, that is surrounded by house plants. Seated comfortably, with my feet on the braided rug my great uncle made, I prayed with the Anglican prayer beads Conor and my Daughter in law Elizabeth gave me.  A few weeks ago, at Antoinette’s suggestion, Jamey and I found a place of peace in Washington Park. What a gift to find acres of trees and grass in the middle of Washington. Places of peace can be found all over, even in the city. Each day I try to spend some time in a place of spiritual and physical peace.

We are busy people, beloved ones. There is always more to do. But that makes a place of physical and spiritual peace all the more precious. Anglicans have always known this. We have a rhythm of daily prayer for just this reason.  Our prayer book, written almost 500 years ago, was meant to bring this practice of peace into the homes of the faithful. Cranmer, the author, wanted to make daily prayer accessible, so that everyday people could soak their days with the living water of Christ’s presence.

I wonder where your place of peace is.

Is it your front porch? Your vegetable gardens? Or a soft chair in the corner?

I encourage you to set aside some time each day to settle in that place of peace and talk with your heavenly Father. Drink deeply from the well of peace. It will refresh you in the midst of a busy life. It will comfort you when you are lonely. It will help you grow in the knowledge and love of God.


To Him be the glory forever and ever,




The Prayer for this week:

Almighty God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed: Kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all people the true love of peace, and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth; that in tranquility your kingdom may go forward, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


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