We are all sojourners. Our physical life is a temporary one.
We’re just passing through, my priest used to tell me.
One day these bodies will return to the earth, fulfilling a cycle which has always been. But until that day comes, we each possess a capacity to create beauty in the world.
Brendan Myers writes in his book, Loneliness and Revelation:
“The great task of crafting a good and beautiful life cannot properly begin until we honestly recognize the occasions of solitude in our lives. To be is to be alone. Only when this proposition is properly acknowledged can the great work properly begin.”
SDF begins its work with a recognition of the need for solitude in our lives. Solitude, often viewed by members of organized religious groups as being less favorable, or even pitiable, is in reality one of the great equalizers.
We all experience solitude, and we all must reconcile ourselves to the proposition Brendan makes:
To be is to be alone.
At one point or another we each sit in silence, in stillness, with only the sound of our breath, the beating of our heart, and the busy-ness of our mind to keep us company. For some, these moments of solitude inspire fear. Being alone is to be avoided at all costs.
But if what Brendan says is correct, to run from solitude is to run from a fundamental, perhaps even existential state of being. Solitude, we must come to accept, is a central component of human life.
The sojourners of the Solitary Druid Fellowship embrace solitude, and allow it to expand wide enough and broad enough to intersect with the solitude of others. For us, solitude is our initiation into metaphysical awareness, and our invitation into contemplation, meditation and ritual.
Ross Nichols, Druid and poet, said that ritual could be understood as “poetry in the world of acts.” Ours is a poetry performed out loud in our apartments and flats, in parks and in woodland groves. Our poetry brings beauty to all the places where sojourner’s walk.
We join one another in a shared, solitary practice, and in doing so we begin the great task of crafting a good and beautiful life.