Summer Greetings, dear Friends of Silence! Here we are in the midst of summer already, along with all its sometimes frantic activities. School is out and the kids are glorying in swimming, amusement parks, picnics, and playing hard all day. Parents, meanwhile, may be wondering how to slow the pace down a bit! Times of solitude are as necessary as breathing during this busy, active season, but where do we find them? An early morning walk along a deserted beach or a mountain vista at twilight come to mind, but what about at home, in our everyday surroundings? Perhaps an early morning interlude in our own gardens, or a brief afternoon “time out” will help. The silent moments of solitude are there if we look for them and are attentive enough to recognize them, sink into them, and allow ourselves to be nurtured and renewed by them. Happy Summer, everyone — see you in September!
It is in the quiet times that we build our strengths and know we have something to rely on. Solitude is not withdrawal into a place where no one and no sound can penetrate. It is a sweet moment of peace with or without other people that lets us re-center and reset the rhythm of the mind, body and spirit. It is wisdom to stay close to the solitude of nature to keep us young and pliable.
~ from A CHEROKEE FEAST OF DAYS by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my 'real' life again at last. That is what is strange — that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened. Without the interruptions, nourishing and maddening, this life would become arid. Yet I taste it fully only when I am alone here ...
A hermit must have a deep experience of communion with humanity. Without this, you cannot be a hermit, because you would only be lonely. You would not be really solitary. To be alone and cut off from others would make you very unhappy, but to be alone, and to be deeply united with others, in deep communion, that is a possibility for which many people long. That is what I call solitude—over and against loneliness.
Solitude does not necessarily mean living apart from others; rather, it means never living apart from one's self. It is not about the absence of other people, it is about being fully present to ourselves, whether or not we are with others.
Solitude is the human condition, the universal vocation to be human. It is the willingness, with Love indwelling, to go to the heart of pain to find new life and share it with the world even though you may be separated from it physically. It is from this commitment to be focused through the narrow gate of solitude that self-emptying love is outpoured, and the heart of the community, the heart of its pain, is transformed into the heart of joy.
Most callings come in silence. Not even a whisper. Silence. . . .
Solitude can be the best place to find your answers. Some say that in silence and solitude you find who you really are because here there are no forces to confuse you or lead you astray. Some people seek solitude to hear the voices of their hearts and souls. Some seek solitude to hear the voice of God. Many go to solitude to seek one and wind up finding the other as well.
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