Fortress of Solitude

When Porter visited, he delighted in the gardens and discovered a hidden area within the Young’s Weeping Birch, Chamaecyparis ‘Green Arrow’, a Japanese maple, and various perennials, that he called his Fortress of Solitude.  Of course, we adults marveled at his choice of words and instinct for the concept, and we also caught his excitement.

While a hermit is assumed to live in varying degrees of extrinsic and intrinsic solitude, solitude is a “place” where everyone ought to have at least a daily visit.  Solitude is a blanket for the soul that keeps it warmly alive, secure, comforted and bolstered throughout all of life’s vicissitudes.

What is solitude?  Solitude is the state or situation of being alone.  Solitude is not loneliness even if we can feel alone in a room full of people.  Solitude does not cause loneliness unless we fear being alone or do not comprehend how beneficial to have solitude.  Very few are called to the eremitic (hermit) life, but all of us are called to at least some solitude, and best to have a daily dose for the health of our bodies, minds, hearts and souls.

Joyful Hermit admits that learning to live the eremitic life is challenging as a life calling.  Learning to live in solitude as a means of quieting the soul and focusing on praying for others, for the world, is a gradual process.  But each of us should designate some time and a place for solitude each day.  Maybe it is driving to work alone and in silence, or going into a room and closing the door for five minutes, asking others to honor the solitude.  We might get up in the night and spend time alone in another part of the house, or go out for a walk–but alone and away from others, including the sounds of others via tech tools.

While the benefits and varieties of some type and time of daily solitude are not often considered, even the cultural-religious aspect of going into one’s inner room to pray led to the practice of pulling a prayer stole or hood over the head in order to create a closed-off space to pray.  But we have always the examples of children who have not yet lost the innate, natural tendency of what is healthy and holy.  They remind us that a little solitude invigorates and refreshes us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Did you ever like to play in a closet, under a stairwell, in the basement or attic?  Did you find solitude in a fort or tree house, or under your bed, or make a tent with your bedding in which to create a place all your own?  Or perhaps you discovered that nature provides any number of solitary opportunities.

Let our thoughts turn to what unique, natural, contrived or ordinary niche can become our very own Fortress of Solitude.  Alone time is good time, and our Fortress of Solitude creates a holy space.  Discover peace for the soul in the silence of solitude.


About The Joyful Hermit

I am a hermit, a life-long Christian, successful in living frugally yet with creativity and JOY! I provide can-do ideas for all aspects of daily life. I live the up side of being down in any situation. Learn to live each day simply and joyfully. Benefit from practical tips and creative ideas with The Joyful Hermit.
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2 Responses to Fortress of Solitude

  1. says:

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though
    you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your blog when you could be
    giving us something enlightening to read?

    • Thank you. It is true that in the persecutions and hardships, and trying to discern God’s will, I get off course. But I have been more actively writing in my blog, Catholic
      I cannot assume it is any more use of what intelligence I may have been given. At times I have blundered through videos due to being worn out, living in rather difficult physical circumstances. That is not as my cheerful little introduction reads, though–that I can make do in whatever situations. Well, I suppose, God is making do. I am still existing. We all persevere, and joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit, but cheerfulness is something we can engender through acts of the will. My manual work load currently and pain threshold are in the upper reaches, but at some point I hope to continue writing on this Joyful Hermit blog. God bless you!

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