Temenos: Are you in your sanctuary?

I might have been a hermit in another life, I think.

This time of social distancing is easy for me. I’m in my home. I love my home. It is my sanctuary.

Or one of the anyway. I also find sanctuary in other places: the woods, friends’ houses, and, yes, church.

Are you in a sanctuary? Which sanctuaries do you miss?

Woods in the spring

9 thoughts on “Temenos: Are you in your sanctuary?

  1. Ally Bean

    I, too, feel I was a hermit in another life. I’m finding being at home all the time is easy for me. Although I do miss spontaneously running out to the grocery, but other than that I’m good.

    [FYI I follow a blog called Temenos of the Blessing Light. I was temporarily confused when I saw the title of your post. What are the odds of seeing that word twice among the bloggers who I follow and read?]

  2. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

    Considering that I had never heard of the word before I saw Robert MacFarlane’s tweet, it is interesting to see it twice. I guess you’re meant to have sanctuary today.
    My husband has been the designated grocery shopper, so he’s the one taking care of that. I have missed spontaneous trips to hardware stores or home supplies stores though. With the cleaning and reorganizing underway, those are the spontaneous trips I’m missing.
    I will also miss doing my book club in person next week. THAT is something that is not quite the same online.

  3. Janet Givens

    My Gestalt training group uses a center near Philadelphia called Temenos; I loved learning the meaning of the word. It certainly fits. Thank you for that.

    I too love being home. I live somewhat isolated here on 30 acres, surrounded by a few hundred more. I feel safe enough but I miss planning for the future — as in this summer. Will I see my children and grandchildren? But more than COVID; I fear my country will emerge from this unrecognizable. I listened to the WHO live call just yesterday —- I digress.

  4. marianbeaman

    Temenos is a new word for me too, but I’m familiar with the essence. I love my home, my sanctuary, especially sitting in the blue-velvet chair where I write in my gratitude book. Outdoors, my patio where I see mother Cardinal building a nest. Unless it’s raining, like today, I can take a walk in the preserve where pines, oaks abound. I see the magnolia trees budding, something to look forward to.

    I protect my sanity by reading headlines on my phone or viewing TV news in small doses. Very small doses. The BBC gives a broader sweep of events than network news, in my opinion.

    Very timely post, Arlene, thank you!

  5. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

    Small doses! Excellent plan for balance. Your sanctuary sounds lovely – I can picture it. I envy you the magnolia tree. There are some in our city, but they have to be babied through our cold winters. I’m not the “babying” kind of gardener, so I am left to admire the ones in other’s gardens.

  6. roughwighting

    I need to add this word – Temenos – to my vocabulary. I just need to figure out how to pronounce it. I think I was a monk in a previous life. Total seclusion, chanting, meditating, gardening to grow produce for others, and maybe wine-making – all sounds divine to me. Now? My Temenos is walking along the beach, walking just about anywhere actually, or just sitting cross-legged in a room, eyes closed, and meditating. I also find Temenos snuggling with my guy in front of the fireplace, just relaxing together. He’s a sanctuary for me. ❤

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      I like your ideas of sanctuary. They are lovely. I could be a monk too – as long as being part of a book club was an endorsed activity. That’s one outing that I really miss. There’s nothing like a group of friends, a glass of wine, dessert and books – in person. That’s a sanctuary too.


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