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Since @cliffordbrown has given us the freedom to be anything or anyone we want to be for Group Writing this month, I have decided I would like to become a hermit. I would find a two-room cabin that is surrounded by trees but receives enough sunshine to light the small main room, bright rays splashing across the wooden floor. It would have to have electricity and indoor plumbing.
I would take special care decorating the cabin: hooked rugs, wooden shelves, two comfortable chairs, and a small sofa. The colors would be a tribute to fall—oranges, light browns, and deep reds. There would be small toss pillows to create the feeling of softness and healing. And a small wooden table with one wooden chair, with a pillow on the seat, in front of a window that looks out on the breathtaking scenery.
The cabin would be located in a place where my cell phone would work. I rarely use the phone, but I don’t want to be completely cut off from humanity—only mostly. I would receive no newspapers, and let the world carry on without my supervision. I would have my old laptop computer to be able to write, but no connection to the internet.
How would I fill my days? I would take two walks: a brisk walk in the morning on the path that starts near the front door. In the afternoon I would take a leisurely walk, traveling in the opposite direction, watching for birds and small critters, feeling the sun on my face, and simply breathing. In the cabin, I would listen to music; I’ve thought about learning about and listening to opera. I would spend time journaling at least part of the day, reflecting on how to find peace of mind, how to adjust to getting older, how to appreciate both the ease and discomfort of being alone.
I would pray. I would meditate. I would read. I would take naps. I would remind myself that I’m not really alone because G-d is always there. I would knit. I would read poetry. I might write poetry.
I would bask in the peacefulness of body and soul.
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How long would I live as a hermit? A week? A month? A year? Probably not a year. I have people I love and care about who I’d like to think might miss me, and I would surely grow to miss them. I have people who are woven into my life, and without them I know I would feel an emptiness that books and music can’t replace.
But it is lovely to think of escaping. Leaving the virus and masks and violence and riots and politics behind.
At the same time, that is not living. Life calls us to be engaged and present and loving to others.
But I can imagine and dream.Published in