I've been feeling a longing lately for a day--a day alone, no interruptions, no one I know. I imagine a small cottage or hermitage, a simple kneeler with Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Candles and incense burning, a small wood stove and kettle for tea. A day of turning inward, discerning and reflecting. It needs to be in the woods, this hermitage, and it needs to have a simple pathway to its door.
A book of poems would be lovely, or some of May Sarton's journals ("Journal of a Solitude" comes to mind). I would want it to be a day in which I let go of guilt and regret, a day in which I embrace calm and peace. I would want it to be a day of finding joy in my callings. There would be no internet with the multitude of voices calling to me until I can't hear any for the cacophony of it all, no news, no current events. Just the breeze in the pines and the singing of birds.
But, I am aware as I write that I am placing too many demands on this day (do you hear the monks singing each to each?). This day I long for and have not yet had or planned...
I imagine it to be a time of drawing inward, going within myself to let go of self a bit.
My imagined place for this retreat is based on a real place, the hermitage at Agape...I spent a summer living at Agape (an intentional community that works for non-violence) and the hermitage there is my model for the kind of place I can find peace. Where do you find peace? Where do you long to be alone?