Retreats | Sabbaticals | Silence | Solitude | Ireland

Autumn Leisure

Autumn is time for contemplative appreciation and assimilation of an active summer. The long days of gardening and grounds keeping and caring for retreatants are succeeded by shorter days and golden leaves and best of all—time and silence.
Everyone has rhythms of action and contemplation. These used to be determined by seasons of the year. Technology changed that with graveyard shifts in factories and factory farms. At our hermitage, we still follow natural patterns of work and rest, words and silence. Liturgical seasons and the daily routine of morning lauds and evening vespers anchor us in primordial rhythms.
We encourage everyone to respect the rhythms of nature and spirit as they are able to be whole and healthy. A full, balanced life is good, a frenetic one is not. Autumn is a good time to simplify and get our priorities right.
The person driving ten cows down a country road frequently overtakes the person driving thirty simply because the one with ten has less to direct. Are we human doings or human beings? Why don’t we cut out half the things we do and do the remaining half lovingly and attentively? How much of our stress is self-induced either from failing to say no to the unrealistic expectations of others or our own neurotic compulsion to work?
May this season teach us to balance busyness with leisure, wonder, and the rest that restores.