From the Hermitage

As I said in a previous post I live the life of a part-time (accidental) hermit.

According to the dictionary:

a hermit is a person who lives in seclusion from society, usually for religious reasons.

The definition is interesting to me because I never really thought much about hermits and their reasons for living that way before we moved to Japan.  After about three years of being here I noticed that I just sort of naturally slipped into the lifestyle without trying. Not on a full-time basis of course. I wouldn’t want to live that way all the time. I don’t think we were meant to live solitary. I enjoy the relationships I have with my husband’s family. I also enjoy the friendships I have.

However, I don’t spend a lot of time with “people”. I’m guessing that I spend 80% of my time alone-well, at home with my dog. Unless I am out at the farmer’s market or just exploring the countryside.

A good part of my time is spent at home-at the hermitage. And while I’m not a part-time hermit specifically for “religious” reasons I do spend a great deal of the time praying – praying while I am working in the garden or doing other chores. Praying while I am working on a crochet project or while cooking. Sometimes the prayers are just thanking God for everything that we have and all the blessings big and small.

Today was such a day.

After I got hubby’s breakfast and bento cooked and him out the door I made myself a wonderful breakfast of banana and blueberry pancakes and enjoyed them while looking out at the garden.

I could sense the subtle change of sunlight through the bamboo shades. That subtle shift of brightness that signals the wee beginnings of the season change to the observant.



 This morning the semi were all over the garden as I worked to clean up the yard and cut down the cucumber plants. Their bodies act as thermostats. When the sun shines hotter they vibrate louder.

I noticed that some sort of pest had invaded the cucumbers so it was time to cut them down. Just as well. We have eaten enough cucumbers for now.



There were all sorts of critters outside keeping me company. Dragonflies are my absolute favorite.



Parched brown grasshoppers are in abundance. Every time I moved several of them scattered, hopping straight up into the air. I was bombarded several times.


This praying mantis was shy and hid behind the wood trellis while I cut down the cucumbers. It came out after I was done but scuttled back to its hiding place every time I came around.

I noticed the faded wreath on our garden gate and made a note to take if off and redo it for autumn. I always put a seasonal wreath on the old little gate. Several times I have been puttering in the kitchen with the window open and noticed little old ladies stopping to admire it. This one is a bit neglected and it’s time for something nice. Especially if it gives little old ladies so much pleasure to see.


I had a lovely and simple lunch of tomatoes and coconut flat bread with a glass of ice-coffee.


And then I got to work removing the rest of the seeds from my sunflower heads.


I wonder if I can freeze them so they won’t get buggy. I want to save them for the birds this winter.

There are so many semi (cicada) “shells” stuck to things in the garden. As I observed one I thought…soon…the empty shells are all that will be left of them as the summer fades to autumn and crickets take their place in the continuous symphony of the planet.


After a nice shower and a little rest I decided to sort out my latest “work in progress”. This is a colorful and eclectic afghan that I am making. It will be the first item that I make for “us”. I have given away every single thing that I have ever crocheted. This one will be for our bed.


I allowed my mind a rest today. Mother-in-law has surgery on Monday. We have a typhoon on the way…but I didn’t worry about any of it. Everything will be okay. It will be just as it should be.


4 thoughts on “From the Hermitage

  1. I really enjoy reading about the simple things that make up your days. I lived in Japan for 10 years and can relate very well to your experiences. I am back in the UK now with my family but living “at the hermitage” has become a way of life I choose and enjoy. Thank you for sharing and reminding us of the beauty all around us.


    1. Hello Sally, what a sweet comment. Thank you so much! It gives me such joy to share my simple life with others and have them take away something positive, some bit of peace and joy. Have a wonderful day and thank you for reading my humble scribblings.


  2. I love the way you write as I feel I am there with you seeing all the creatures. I always say I like being alone but I think it is because I am with people so much and quite often caring for them so my time alone is precious to think and like you to pray. After all Jesus wasn’t a hermit but he did spend all night alone in the mountains praying to his Father. I just leave my sunflower seeds on the plant and the birds help themselves but we don’t get bugs on them here. I love Your crochet, the colours are beautiful.


    1. Yes- I agree. Jesus wasn’t a hermit but solitude is very important to the spiritual life. I’m remembering to treasure these days and not take them for granted because if we do move into the roles of caretakers for elderly parents then things will change. But… It’s all ok. I accept the changes. Seems that’s the way it has been my whole life. Nothing ever stays the same.


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