One of the issues for those of us who work from home is in finding space and time for solitude, reflection, prayer, meditation and general soul restoration. Even if you live alone, as I do now, it is sometimes difficult to find the space to draw inward. The computer, the dishes, the bills, the laundry, the dirty tub, the unwritten manuscript – all clamor for our attention.

I’ve found that it sometimes helps to just get out of the house – most days I end up on my bike – people here are amazed when I tell them where I’ve been on my bike. Honestly, I don’t even notice the distance when I’m biking, I’ve often surprised myself once I’ve found out how many miles I’ve tracked in an afternoon – The cool breeze, the outdoors and beautiful scenery create the perfect environment for me to lose myself in prayer.

Yesterday, I changed things up a bit and I got in my car. Truthfully, the car is the last place you want to be in Miami if you need soul restoration – but I had an endpoint in mind. The photos below were taken at The Cloisters of the Ancient Spanish Monastery, another jewel of Miami.

As a bit of history, the original Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux was built in the province of Segovia, Spain between 1133-1144. Cistercian monks occupied the monastery for nearly 700 years. The cloisters were seized and converted into a granary during a social revolution in the mid-1830’s. In 1925, William Randolph Hearst acquired the cloisters and arranged to have the entire structure dismantled and shipped to the US. Over 11,000 wooden crates – each individual stone was put back together, like a giant jigsaw puzzle in the mid-1950’s in its present location.

I spent a couple of hours walking, sitting, and reflecting in the chapel, the gardens, and the inner rooms. Pure, transcendent bliss…

I’ve often joked with my family and friends that I missed my calling…While you may not share my affinity for the monastic life, I hope that the images will inspire you to create space for your own inner room experience.

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place – Psalm 51:6

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