Beauty, contemplation and a time of retreat

by Anna Blanch on November 7, 2009

This post was written while Goannatree was in hiatus in July 2009. Today, as I am in the highlands I thought I’d share with you my thoughts



It is beautiful here. So peaceful. Surrounded by beauty, green leafiness, water, and shelves and shelves of books I feel like I can breathe.

I’ve been thinking alot about beauty. I’ve been thinking about art, and the arts, and the things I choose to surround myself with. I’ve been thinking about my life now and the places I want to live and the peace that is filling my soul. I’ve been looking at Michael O’Brien paintings and pages from illuminated manuscripts, and the smiling face of my 8 week old neice (in photos)

Yesterday I described it like this: I am letting beauty apply a balm to my weary soul and body. And so it is. The beauty of a landscape that involves living things and animals, water, and a breeze that moves the leaves outside the window as I type. I’ve been writing and praying and sleeping and reading and doing nothing at all, except for a couple of hours a day on a project that will come to a culmination in about two weeks.

I’m reminded that I am and never will be a city-girl at heart. My heart, mind, and soul are fed by wide-open spaces, preferably ones where you can’t see your neighbour. For those that know me this intense desire for space and solitude may come as a suprise. You see I am a talker, a people-person, an extrovert. Yet what i most need is a balance. Times and seasons. A balance of rest and work, seasons of warmth and cold.

To everything there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and
a time to die;
a time to plant, and
a time to pluck up
that which is planted;

A time to kill, and
a time to heal;
a time to break down, and
a time to build up;

A time to weep, and
a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and
a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and
a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and
a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and
a time to lose;
a time to keep, and
a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and
a time to sow;
a time to keep silence, and
a time to speak;

A time to love, and
a time to hate;
a time of war; and
a time of peace.


The verses come from Ecclesiastes 3:1. Lately, I have been finding  it helpful to remind myself that there is a time to speak and a time to keep silent. I valued my hiatus from Goannatree earlier this year and it was out of that silence that this entry comes.

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