The early morning hour awakened cool breezes and gentle sunlight. I eagerly pushed aside the window treatments and expectantly opened the doors to the screened porch, recklessly abandoning my plans for the morning. The break from the June heat and humidity and the printed treasure in my hand beckoned me to enjoy a morning on the screened porch. Cleaning and errands could easily be tackled at another hour, another day. With my favorite stainless steel mug in my right hand, a book by a favored author tucked in the crook of my arm and my reading glasses perched on the crook of my nose, I escaped responsibility and entered solitude.
The gravity zero lounger cradled me in comfort, allowing me to elevate my swollen feet, bloated evidence of a salt-laden diet and a humidity-laden atmosphere. The reading glasses slid into proper place and the book fell open in my lap. At first, the author’s style of writing caught my attention. I have read him often, yet his skill, talent and ease of storytelling continues to thrill my creative senses. Soon, however, his ability as a storyteller drew me into the world that his words created and the details of his craftsmanship melted seamlessly on the page. It was a world of familiarity that I’ve come to appreciate with that author. It is a familiarity I had slightly forgotten in the recent months of transition, settling and establishing a new home.
Settling and establishing a new home has been like this morning’s cool breezes and gentle sunlight, a break from the heat and pressure of typical life. It was this morning, after settling in the lounge chair and just before opening the novel, that another surreal suspension of time descended upon me, as has become typical in this house, my new home.
There were no sounds from within the house, no radio program or TV show sounding out. Traffic on the highway that runs in front of my house has considerably lessened and quieted due to school holidays. The breeze lightly ruffled the branches of the surrounding oak trees and tickled a dance from the wind chimes. The breeze lightly teased a dance of sunlight through the protective screen onto the tongue-and-groove boards of the porch.
The zero gravity lounger cradled me in comfort with my feet wisely raised. My line of vision naturally traveled across the landscape with each new sound my ears recognized. The leaves tap danced, just for me. The birds chirped, just for me. The squirrels scampered and played, just for me. The neighbor’s horses stomped and snorted, just for me. Time stood still, it seems, as I took it all in. The surreal scene drew me in as surely as if I were hypnotized.
There was a holy hush within this sanctuary of peace in which I humbly sat. There was a holy hush within this sanctuary of peace in which I sat in awe. There was sanctuary, a place of safety. There was holiness, a place of reverence. There was beauty, a place of awe. There was solitude, a place of contentment. There was absence of anxiety. There was absence of rejection. There was absence of incompleteness. There was absence of the fight within.
Over the past four or five years, when life took away more than it gave, there was, and is, a certain place a couple of hours away to which I would always retreat–a sanctuary of peace, safety, reverence and beauty. It was, and is, a source of renewal. It was, and is, a blessing of Love. Now I am living in the midst of a place that is all that. After years of living in the big city, in the world of concrete with fast-travelling strangers, I am now living in a private sanctuary. The solitude is healing and refreshing, a far cry from fighting to fit in and battling to succeed. The realization is surreal and hypnotizing.
Here is a place of sanctuary, of renewal and of solitude. It is a gift of Love. It is a sanctuary that I hope to never grow accustomed to or take for granted, allowing it to fade away in familiarity. It is a sanctuary from which I hope reverence will never be stolen or marred.
The zero gravity lounger cradled me in comfort. The morning breezes and gentle sunlight danced in merriment. Solitude blanketed me in sure contentment. The reading glasses slid into proper position and the book fell open in my lap.