I think this idea of the monastic life is very attractive and wonder if we oughtn’t to encourage it more. We ought to find the eccentrics and oddballs in our world and encourage them to settle, to learn how to
pray and to live in our midst as solitary signs of the kingdom. We could do with a few more anchorites and stylites too for that matter.
There’s one in Georgia (that would be the country near Russia not the state near South Carolina) you can learn about Fr Maxim here.
I had my own experience one summer which was unforgettable. In 1987 I hitch hiked from England to Jerusalem, staying in monasteries along the way. I didn’t wear sandals, but I did carry a stick–which I still have.
Not only was the stick an aid in walking, but it doubled as a decent weapon. I had one threatening car driver and numerous dogs that needed to be calmed…
Stick and sandals?
Me? I’m going to go home and put on my Birkenstocks and grab my walking stick…