I love my husband, kids, friends, community, and especially kitty cat, but sometimes a gal just needs to go be far, far away in a place beyond the reach of cell phone, email, animated conversations and peaceful sojourns washing dishes in between driving here and yonder.
So tomorrow I’m slipping off to Shantivanam, a retreat center owned by the Catholic Church, open to all people, and immersed in a beautiful forest on a hill near a small town. It’s also about an hour from home. For many years, I would go there for a few days, then Ken would join me for a weekend of us alone together, and then I would go home and he would stay on for a few days alone. It was our touchstone for peace and replenishment. This year, we went to New York instead, which was great, but every so often I would turn to Ken and say, “I love all this, but the city is so stimulating that I have no time to integrate it all.”
In any case, tomorrow, tomorrow night and a large portion of Wednesday, I’ll be there, in a small cabin in the woods. I’ll walk in the day and especially at night around the woods and into places made sacred by careful attention to making their beauty visible. There will be journals, books, art supplies, and the cello….and hopefully, without access to the outside world and just me myself, the noise in my head will decrease at least 10%, maybe 14%. Here’s wishing us all little spaces to lower the inner volume and let in more quiet.