The solitary life from the outside looking in can appear foreign, frivilous, even disconcerting. Many who come on retreat at Penuel Ridge will eventually ask me (while looking at their feet), "How can you live alone, deep in the woods without compliment of modern life?" I usually smile warmly and tell them I intentionally chose this life, a life of oneness with nature, self and the Creator.
I admit there are times of loneliness and a desire for connectdness. In hindsight, those feelings are strongest when I am pushing away from myself...times when expanses of silence reveal wounds in need of examination, understanding and healing, shortcomings in need of growth.
The gift of silence and stillness is difficult to conceive in today's world. One has to experience it first hand, over an extended period of time to truly feel the resonance, the vibration of oneness that is born out of being quiet and still. I have been called to this practice after many years. The restorative, healing power I experience today harkens me back to my early childhood when my siblings and mother would lay down in the afternoon to take a nap. I remember lying on my bed, feeling the vibration of hush as it fell over our house and hearing the collective breathing in and breathing out of my brother and sister exhausted from play and our mother, equally exhausted from tending to her children and home.
This morning, the benches surrounding the lake were covered in ice, but I braved a frosty posterior to take in the silent morning that broke gracefully over the eastern ridge. The world in silent stillness lay...so are the words of a well known Christmas hymn.
Silence and stillness are gifts one can give to ones self. I am gifted each day by the wonder of it all...so simple...so powerful...so peaceful.