Someone gave me the word for it. I’m cloistered. I’m not “quarantined,” unless you insist on a sterile medical definition. I’m cloistered. For a man of the cloth it seems appropriate.
But maybe for more than just people of the cloth. I could choose to be quarantined; I suppose. I could choose to sit in my quiet house, looking out at all the things I can’t do and the places I can’t go. I could sterilize my life down to the bear elemental basics. I could hold my breath until Saturday when I can come out of quarantine and “be normal again.” I think that’s how many of us feel about the pandemic worldwide.
Or I could be cloistered—a chosen retreat from the distractions of the world to focus on really important things, which are probably not found out doing those things I can’t do, nor in the places I can’t go. They are found within, where the real struggles of life are fought. A quieter routine, a slower pace, more time to breathe and look at the things right in front of me, truly look in long, loving contemplation. Maybe this can be a time of renewed prayer—a pandemic leading to prayer. How redemptive is that?
I may no longer be quarantined after Saturday, but I may not give up my cloister. There’s something I really, really need here.
Picture Credit: The Cloister at Iona, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cloisters_of_Abbey_on_the_Isle_of_Iona.jpg