“I will lure you into the desert, and there I will speak to your heart.”
— Hosea 2:14
Located in a secluded, wooded area not far from the main Lodge, the Hermitage is a single-person dwelling in the woods. It's a bright, lofty room with tongue and groove pine walls, a stained glass window and a screened-in porch with a reading area.
The Hermitage's bay window faces through the trees toward Little Stanchfield Lake, which is visible in the winter. A multicolored quilt covers the bed with a rocking chair and small table nearby.
A kitchenette – with sink, refrigerator and microwave – is stocked with coffee, tea, fruit and breakfast food. Other meals may be picked up or delivered in a basket or eaten in the Lodge with the community and other guests.
The hermitage is heated and has electricity.
Water is provided in jugs.
There is a nearby outhouse. The showers and bathrooms in the Lodge are also available for “hermit” use.
The concept of a Hermitage goes back to ancient times when the Desert Fathers and Mothers chose to live apart from the everyday milieu, not only for prayer and meditation, but also to provide an alternative perspective to that of the dominant culture.
Solitary retreat is not an escape from reality. Instead, it can bring clarity and understanding, awakening our senses to a deeper reality. Such time alone is often thought of as a “desert experience.”
ARC has chosen to name the Hermitage “Poustinia,” a Russian Word meaning “desert”.