Thank St. Colman of Ireland for this day to celebrate the power of spending time with yourself. What, you’ve never heard of him? There’s not a lot to learn, but here’s what I’ve discovered: Saint Colman mac Duagh was born at Cork, Galway, Ireland. (c. 560 -632 AD), the son of the Irish chieftain Duac (and thus, in Irish, mac Duach). His claim to fame is that he was a recluse, living in prayer and prolonged fastings, first on Inismore, then in a cave at the Burren in County Clare.
Since hermits, by definition, live in seclusion, National Hermit Day is a great way to take some time by yourself.
We recommend a book that captivated both of us when it first came out many years ago:
The Man Who Lived Alone by Donald Hall, woodcuts by Mary Azarian
The New England man at the heart of this book lives alone because he chooses to. He is kind, affectionate–and definitely eccentric–and lives a life of contentment with his mule and his owl–not too far away for his dear cousin Nan. Though this sounds like a boring book, it is quite moving, largely because of the masterful prose of New Hampshire’s poet laureate Donald Hall, and the stunning illustrations by Mary Azarian. Maybe being New Englanders, familiar with Ragged Mountain and the culture of rural New Hampshire helps, but we think it’s a wonderful read-aloud to share with your family.
Here are some other suggestions for honoring the day from the National Hermit Day website:
To celebrate National Hermit Day, find a secluded place to go and:
- Turn off your phone
- Turn off your computer
- Let your worries be free
- Rest and relax
- Enjoy your quiet time
- Read, write or draw
- Short Nap