At Peace in Solitude
This morning—grey, cool, peace. The unquestionable realization of the rightness of living in the woods full-time, because it is from God and it is His work. So much could be said! What is immediately perceptible is the immense relief, the burden of ambiguity that is lifted, and I am without care—no anxiety about being pulled between my job and my vocation….I feel as if my whole being were an act of thankfulness—even the gut is relaxed and at peace after a good meditation and long study of Irenaeus in Wingren’s book, Man and the Incarnation. The woods all crackle with guerrilla warfare—the hunters are out for squirrel season (as if there were a squirrel left!). Even this idiot ritual does not make me impatient. In their way, they love the woods too: but I wish their way were less destructive and less a lie.
“I am the Lord thy God who brought you out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Psalm 80 is where I am in my perpetual Psalter, and there is no question that solitude gives a different horizon to the Psalter, precisely because of the light and nourishment one especially needs.
The five days I have had in real solitude have been a revelation, and whatever questions I may have had about it have been answered. Over and over again I see that this life is what I have always hoped it would be and always sought. A life of peace, silence, purpose, meaning. It is not always easy, but calls for a blessed and salutary effort—and a little goes a long way. Everything about it is rewarding.
August 21 and 25, 1965, V.283