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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)

TITLE: Pure Asylum
By Debra Brand


Quiet. Quiet, quiet, quiet, quiet. QUIET!!!

Oh, yes! Serenity at last!

Outside in my sun-bleached gazebo, on this crisp, clear summer morning, I enter into solitude with God. The luscious emerald trees sway ever so gently in the fresh breeze. Touched by wispy whites, as if a painter just grazed the canvas with the tip of his brush, the pale sapphire sky refreshes my eyes.

The morning celebration of a feathered friend sends his staccato notes to reverberate on my eardrums. A delicate ivory butterfly pulses his gossamer wings in harmony with the beat in my chest.

On the breeze, a heavenly aroma of wild honeysuckle drifts. Earthy smells of last fall’s leaves, yesterday’s rain and sun-baked soil underlie the sweetness.

Time away. Away from the hustle, bustle and noise. Clamor that lingers in the background muttering, murmuring and whispering desires, failings, hopes, and fears dissipates into a faint purr.

Closing my eyes, I focus on Him. Calling out to my Savior, I worship. Soon, He carries me afar, flying, spinning and soaring, ever upwards into a tranquil oblivion of intimacy.

Strength and comfort fill my hollow soul. Living waters nourish my parched spirit. Love encircles, surrounds and envelopes producing inadequate words to depart from my lips.

Unawares, this earthen vessel extends arms of surrender in supreme adoration and supplication. Tears of joy and praises of salvation…


Glorious Lord, Wonderful Savior thrills my heart…buzz, buzz.

Um…Jesus, Jesus, Lover of my…buzz…buzz…buzz.

A sliver of light exposes one eye. I quickly scan the gazebo while continuing to utter pleasing prayers to my Lord.


Losing focus as my lid closes, I quickly return to my inner sanctuary. Praise God for He is good. His love endures…buzz…buzz…buzz…buzz.

My eyes snap open! I am totally surrounded by black wasps! Unbeknownst to me, I have invaded their territory. I carefully look upwards and there is the gray papery honeycombed nest right in the middle of the copula!

Time stops and I consider my options. There’s only one doorway or it’s over the railing I go. I wait for a break in the swarm.

Beaded sweat breaks out on my forehead. Clammy hands that once held praise upraised, now slowly and carefully descend to my lap. I hope wasps don’t have noses. Fear stinks!

Watching…watching…there it is! I zoom through the doorway, keeping a low profile! Out into the yard I swiftly launch myself onto the porch and burst into the house!

Leaning back against the closed door, I feel my heart pounding against my ribs. Pulsating blood in my ears keeps time with soggy shaking limbs. Silent frantic screams interrupt the subdued rubble in my mind.

“Calm down,” I pray. Gulping for air and checking for stings, I nervously sigh in relief.

I turn back to look outside at the frenzied scene of…

To my amazement, the gazebo retreat had no evidence of the chaos that lingers in me! The wasps lazily drift, buzzing here and there, up and down. A swarm no longer, they attend to their own busyness and seriousness of life.

Aghast, I realize that my attempt of peaceful worship had intruded upon their domain!

My reflection for the day: “One person’s ivory tower could possibly be someone else’s nest!”

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This article has been read 1013 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dixie Phillips08/08/05
Loved that last line!
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/08/05
Isn't it true how little things (or lots of scary little things, as the case may be!) always seem to intrude on our time with God? Well done!
Joanne Malley08/11/05
Creatively done and well written. Loved the last line too! :)
Jan Ackerson 08/11/05
I'm usually turned off by so many adjectives, but they really worked to set the mood early in your piece. Just when we were all calm...the wasps! You tapped into one of my biggest nightmares. Well done!
Shari Armstrong 08/11/05
Well written and good descriptions, I could almost feel them buzzing around me!
Linda Watson Owen08/11/05
I was running all the way to the house with you! Good read! Good point!
dub W08/12/05
Okay. Well done. How often we forget, we are in their space.
Pat Guy 08/12/05
They do have a way of getting rid of us! :) Been there, done that! :)
Good job of taking us with you on your - umm - retreat with the buzzers! :)
Maxx .08/13/05
How funny ... (probably not, but a funny read anyway!). And I gotta get me one of those "emerald trees" ... no wonder you can afford a gazebo! lol!

OK.. seriously. The beginning was a bit too literary. I know that the point was to set up the contrast between beautiful worship and stinging chaos, but I think you went just a touch over with your descriptions. You certainly have a talent for penning a touching line! Just keep it toned down a touch. My 2 cents ... oh, and glad there were no stings!
Helga Doermer08/15/05
: ) You have a delightfully descriptive writing style. What a powerfully symbolic event of how the unexpected can intrude on our attemtps at solitude. Your closing line was amusing. Thea
Helga Doermer08/15/05
: ) You have a delightfully descriptive writing style. What a powerfully symbolic event of how the unexpected can intrude on our attemtps at solitude. Your closing line was amusing. Thea