In the garden of the Nethersprings,
hidden beneath the trees,
is a small wooden hut.
There are no windows,
the furniture is simple, a table,
a chair and a candle.
Of the many visitors who come
to the Nethersprings,
many find their way to the Poustinia.
We call it Poustinia because
it means; The Little Desert
and it is a place of retreat and solitude .
For many people, this small garden hut
becomes the wardrobe as depicted in C. S. Lewis’s,
‘The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.’
It opens a door, to a world which is strange yet familiar,
exiting yet perilous, and like the Land of Narnia is forever
At the heart of any monastic vocation
is the call to both love and know God.
This becomes ‘the one thing necessary’
and our lives become defined by this quest.
To respond to this call we have to
cross The Landscape of the Heart and
the silence and solitude of the space
symbolized by the Hut, Poustinia,
Cell or Coracle is where the journey
It is the place where we must first
face the fear, loss and danger
that may be associated with our journey
and the seductive and distracting voices that
encourage or threaten us
to turn back or take another journey.
It is the place where we encounter
our duplicity, immorality and inconsistency
that reveals our divided heart and the thoughts
that comfort and cajole us.
It is also the place to receive
Faith, Hope, Love and the
Courage to enter the divine
darkness in which we can begin
to get a glimpse of an uncreated light
and reflect that uncreated light in
the darkness of the world in which we live:
The glory of God as revealed in His Son