The collected thoughts of modern and ancient hermits, eccentrics, solitaires, wanderers, mystics, and others who inhabit the monastery within.

Visit my other blog, View From Pardes, the introspective humdrum life of an eccentric hexagenarian.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Jeff, the Urban Hermit

I try to commit most of my time toward activities which help me seek and know God ever more deeply and intimately. Having a sit spot is just one way to facilitate these vital activities. And I encourage you, if you don't already, to have a sit-spot too.
Jordan River Sit Spot - Winter View

Well, here is the ole' sit spot, down by the Jordan River. It has quite a different look as compared to last October or even just last month, with the bare, grey limbs and grass pressed down by the snow.

With the much colder temperatures, the river looks thick and slow, much like molasses on a ... well you know. And it's a bit lower in level too.

It was especially fun to watch a small flock of Canadian Geese doing their early morning patrol, single file, along the opposite shoreline. First they went up stream (to the right in the picture) and then returned down stream. I was pleasantly surprised to find a small muskrat hiding in the wake of the Geese patrol. I didn't see it until the patrol took the turn in the river (on left side of the picture above). The little muskrat continued swimming straight on to the middle of the river, with its scrawny little serpentine tail following behind. It then made a slight upward leap and dove down into the water.

A little bit later, the mallard duck started to paddle down stream with his mate close behind. His loud, course quacks echoing off the muddy, snow covered banks. The breeze then started to pick up, getting cold and cutting, and snow started to fall. So I took the hint and headed for my warm home and a hot cup of tea.
A Sit Spot (also known as a Secret Spot) is simply a place to go in the woods, or even your back porch, and sit. It doesn’t have to be all that special to start with. You make it special, and secret, by sitting in it – time after time.
Many folks expect a hermit to be a reclusive eccentric. Others have an expectation that a hermit is some type of lone guru sitting atop a mountain peak, a holder of deep spiritual insight and understanding of the meaning of life. The reality of what a hermit is - is probably just as varied as the individuals who have found themselves leading such a life.

Some hermits have "retired from society" for religious and other reasons, such as myself. Some hermits are even declared as such by Canon Law (603) - I am not. Also, please do not assume that a hermit avoids all other human contact. This is not true. Since I currently live in an urban setting, I am an "urban" hermit. Simple.

All rights to text and photos are retained by Jeff, The Urban Hermit. Continue with excerpts of his adventures here on Cloister Voices and visit his websites, "Urban Sit Spot" and "a bond-servant's journal."

1 comment:

  1. Very much enjoyed this article. I too have my sit-spots - I naturally discover them wherever I go and I often seek them out for tranquillity and reflection - an essential part of balancing the moving around bit for me. I tend to relocate every couple of years, but a quiet life in the mountains with a couple of good sit-spots, not too far from a town does seem very appealing - who knows, maybe one day.