Hanging over a small creek, in the woods surrounding a hermitage I visited for a few days beginning on New Year’s eve, were the softly dipping roots of this lovely Sugar Maple tree. Winter came while I was there, and I enjoyed watching the snow fall for hours (from the warmth of my heated hermitage). The many books and images on the green, and profoundly mystical, visions of Hildegard von Bingen (a Benedictine Abbess, 1098-1179) added much to the blizzard. Thank you to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie for creating a beautiful, accessible, and affordable retreat for seekers of solitude and spiritual renewal. I felt wrapped in their quiet and care. Another plus is the gorgeous pottery of artist-in-residence, Brother Thomas.