Day one of 21-day coronavirus seclusion

Now we enter a 21-day period of seclusion.
It is an essential seclusion, ordained by government in the face of pestilence.
Yet it can be viewed as an equally essential retreat for prayer and contemplation, during a time when metaphorical light is under threat from darkness; when good is under threat from evil; and when the natural world is under threat from our rapacious exploitation of its resources and other life-forms.
Personally, I would like to spend this time in the Garden of Temenos Retreat, in McGregor, in silence, amongst its shrines, within its layers of Barakah and healing energy.
But I am positioned here, in Cape Town’s city bowl.

The wind is blowing strongly and there is golden, dawn light all about.
A bird sings.
The blackened flank of Lion’s Head is still sore from a recent, terrible fire.
The Kramat shines in bright white and its centuries of layered Barakah ripple out across the city.
I share a poem with you.
By DH Lawrence
God is older than the sun and moon
and the eye cannot behold him
nor voice describe him.
But a naked man, a stranger, leaned on the gate
with his cloak over his arm, waiting to be asked in.
So I called him: Come in, if you will! –
He came in slowly, and sat down by the hearth.
I said to him: And what is your name? –
He looked at me without answer, but such a loveliness
entered me, I smiled to myself, saying: He is God!
So he said: Hermes!
God is older than the sun and moon
and the eye cannot behold him
nor the voice describe him:
and still, this is the God Hermes, sitting by my hearth.
Image: The Kramat of Sheik Mohamed Ghabie Hassen Shah al Qadri, located on Signal Hill, Table Mountain National Park.


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