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Solitude and Peace – A Reflection

September 6, 2021
Three goats who live at Good Samaritan Rehabilitation Center where my Dad has been going through rehab.

Denise and I have been on an exhausting journey which began on July 25th with a phone call that my Dad had fallen and was in the ER in Austin, Minnesota. From that moment on, there have been so many twists and turns in the journey with my dad, with her dad, and now we are on our way to Mobile for the funeral of Denise’s former mother-in-law. You might say that we have been doing a lot of processing during the long hours in the car making multiple trips between Minnesota and Alabama.

While Denise was in Alabama with her dad in the hospital, I had stayed behind with Pixie to encourage my dad with rehab. One day while he was in physical therapy I wandered around the facility and ended up in one of the enclosed quads where the three goats lived. I found an amusing sense of peace sitting with the goats and having them stare at me. It seemed as though they were inviting me to simply be still in the presence of God’s wondrous creation. On another occasion one of the goats made me smile when I caught him on top of its little igloo shelter!

What are you looking at? There is nothing unusual going on here!

For me, peace has always been found in the quiet places and spaces. In those places of solitude I find rest, refreshment, hope, and encouragement on this journey called life. John Greenleaf Whittier wrote the following stanza in his poem “The Brewing of Soma” which was the inspiration for the hymn “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.”

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Now, as we prepare for the next leg of our journey through the Valley of the Shadows, we are listening to the music of our dear friend, Rev. Simon de Voil (https://simondevoil.com). Simon’s music always invites us into a place of solitude and peace where the Spirit indeed comforts and speaks. With Simon playing and singing I feel myself being drawn closer to the sheer and beautiful silence offered by God.

These words of Thomas Merton speak to where I find myself right now as I seek that quiet presence and peace this evening. Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it. (On Christian Contemplation, p. 36) Dear reader, may we find that peace in the present moment as we walk this journey of life together.

3 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on Anniegoose's Blog and commented:
    One Must listen to Simon de Voil – must must must

  2. Thank you for Simon de Voil – listening — listening

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