I started coming to Christ in The Wilderness many years ago and it has become an annual, week-long sacred time for me; a week that unfolds naturally, without expectation. Here are three reasons why I believe we should embrace solitude from time to time:
1. Connection with self
Solitude provides a retreat from the sounds and busy-ness that enfolds much of our daily living. I can be with myself and attend to the that still small voice within, deepening my connection with my higher self. Solitude reveals my own answers when I take the time to listen. Surrounded by the trees, the land, and the animals, I am gifted with a friendship that softens the side of solitude that many fear – that sense of aloneness.
2. Freedom to be spontaneous
Solitude provides a time when there isn’t anything we have to “do” or accomplish. This opens the rivers of creativity, play, song, and dance. I can tune into my own rhythms. When I first arrive at my hermitage at CITW, the delight I feel at having an entire week to myself, enjoying a book, a walk, a nap, or watching nature in an unhurried fashion, is an unspeakable gift.
3. Space to be with the Holy One
Solitude reminds us that the Holy One is everywhere. During my time at CITW, I look forward to where the Holy One will be revealed to me and within me. Sometimes this occurs during a full-moon when the moonlight illumines the tree-lined path to my hermitage, in the dappled sunlight dancing across the glistening water in the creek bed, the cries of the coyotes at night, or the lone hooting of the owl in a tree near the chapel on a still and silent night or when I wander stop to sit along the paths that meander throughout the property.
After my week at CITW, I can gently and purposefully re-enter my daily life with greater awareness, presence, and mind-full living. Perhaps you, too, will consider giving yourself this sacred time.
By Pamela Johnson