Be still

During the month of August, I’m participating in the Writer’s Tarot Challenge.

Day 11: The Hermit and your writing space

As a religious person, I’ve taken many retreats, including some that have been five days or more in the vastness of silence.

My favorite retreat was at Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) in Minnesota, a Franciscan retreat center consisting of hermitages. My hermitage consisted of a single twin bed, a rocking chair, a space heater, a mirror and sink, large windows looking out onto the forest in which the hermitage was set, and a closet with piles of warm extra blankets. Miles of trails became an excuse to rise from one’s knees to pray. Each morning, a basket with fresh fruit, a loaf of bread, and cheese was left at my door. Evening time brought prayer and a dinner by fireside that warmed the bitter edge off the autumn cold. The crunch of fallen leaves in twanging copper and brushed golden hues mingled with the sweet, smoky scent of burning firewood gathered from the extensive grounds.

I channel that hermiting space every time I light a candle flame, or rub scented oil into a labradorite sphere, or make a pot of oolong tea, or take time to be still in a space I’ve made mine. It is in these sacred intersections of time and space that my muse’s whispers rise into song.

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