The Hermit in Me

How do I know that I need a retreat at Belmont Abbey? It’s because the hermit in me starts to rumble.

I get antsy and restless. I get fed up with minutiae. I get tired of people.

I start dreaming of the great downsizing–that time when we can sell this too large house in the suburbs, have a huge yard sale, a huge dumpster and a huge moving van headed full to the Goodwill.

I start dreaming of the little cabin in the woods. One room with a hefty stone fireplace. A loft upstairs with a bed–you have to climb a ladder to get there. A little kitchen and another room full of books a desk, a laptop and that’s it.

I’ll grow a beard so long that mice come and make nests in it. I’ll feed them crumbs and name them after the humblest and most foolish of saints. One will be called St John Colobus and the other St Margaret Costello. (She was not related to an Abbot)

There will be a shotgun on the porch with a sign next to it that says, “Use instead of doorbell”

Transportation will be shoe leather or for the weekly shopping trip the motorcycle and sidecar.

I will have a bird feeder and find a way to train only cardinals to feed there as they are my favorite birds and remind me of princes of the church.

For entertainment I will have a parrot–an African Grey named Gandalf and I will teach him liturgical phrases in Latin like “Miserere mei” or “Dominus Vobiscum” or “You shall not pass.”