For these last ten days, while my housemate Joan is in California on staff of a Nine Gates Mystery School session, I have declared to all who usually call and come to visit that I am taking "embering" time. This word continues to arise in me as an ancient
echo of the old, pre-Vatican II practice of "Ember Days", focusing an intensity of spiritual renewal that results in renewal on all levels. The three Ember Days came four times a year at the change of seasons, and called Catholics to renew their devotion,
there by "fanning into a flame" what had fallen into embers through busyness and forgetfulness.
The image of fanning my embers into a flame has been strong with me during these days. It is another word for "retreat", and while the latter usually
includes full silence, the focus on renewing one's inner flame isn't as deliberate. I am pondering, praying, writing, and most of all dropping into silence - inner silence - as often as I can remember. This is the hardest task of all. The weather of summer
heat and stillness has allowed me to be outside most of the time, work in the garden, preparing all the summer requirements.It has been healing and restorative, and I have five days left!!!