I have just returned from nearly three days of complete solitude and silence in a small hermitage at Loretto Maryholme Retreat Centre on the shore of Lake Simcoe, ON. I found the autumn months so emotionally and time-demanding that the silent solitude
drew me like a strong magnet, a necessity as strong as food in the face of hunger.
From the first moment I brought in my things - clothes, food, books - from the car, I felt as if the air itself took a deep breath, and I expanded into it. I slept ten
hours each night. I watched the coming darkness. I walked in snow among trees shining with icy coatings and lengthening sun.
After the first few hours of relief, I felt the predictable contractions - the "must do's, should do's, what do I need to get
done while here, " etc. They approached like masked bandits. I stopped and acknowledged them, recognized them. And did not obey them, at least not most of the time. It was a very strange feeling, yet - I saw - a healthy one. And one that I must continue to
practice while at home - that is my great blessing, my turning point moment in these days away.