“What we can learn from solitude: Contemporary hermits are reaching out to people struggling from isolation – their message: ‘Go inward and get outside.'” – The New York Times

solitude - lonlinessPaul Fredette (left) and Karen Karper Fredette on their property in Hot Springs, N.C.”Credit…Clark Hodgin for The New York Times

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“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Paul Fredette and Karen Karper Fredette have made some changes to their lives: Ms. Fredette stopped attending her local exercise class, and the couple whittled their interactions with their neighbors down to waves.

“But in many ways, seclusion comes naturally to them. From a house they call Still Wood, nestled in the slope of a mountain surrounded by hundreds of acres of wild woodlands, the Fredettes live their lives ‘oriented towards solitude,’ which is their preferred way of saying that they’re hermits: devoted to simplicity, silence and prayer. The nearest town, Hot Springs, N.C., is 18 miles away and has a population just under 600.

“Mr. Fredette, 71, is a former Catholic priest, while Ms. Fredette, 78, spent 30 years in a monastery after high school before leaving to live as a hermit in a cabin in West Virginia. Since 1996, the couple has overseen a social network for hermits … “

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