Sometimes my refuges were hiding places — from the weight of my problems, from the stress of my life, from the things I didn’t understand. Sometimes my refuges were places of comfort, places I went to let my hair down and be me, though I was often trying to figure out just who, exactly, “me” was. And sometimes, in the flurry and bustle, my refuges were times of peace, sanctuaries of silence, places of rest.
I moved away and grew up, only to find that, in the loneliness of my soul, something was missing. I didn’t know what it was, but it seemed to be linked to a young man and his Sunday morning habit. As I sat with him in Mass, holding his hand and fighting back the overwhelming desire to cry (and losing most of the time), I sensed that same feeling I felt back in our fallen tree. It was peace, and silence, and safety. I could hide from the things that disturbed me and settle in to be myself.
Once upon a time, there was a refuge in the Garden of Eden. It was Paradise, and it was perfect. Before the loss of innocence, there was peace. Now, living in the midst of our fallen world and my fallen self, I find my refuge is a glimpse of heaven.