My pattern is to be alone at the cottage praying for the fruit to enter deep within me, and then, to go out in the world to practice. I falter all the time but thankfully Christianity is a faith of hope. God forgives me again and again, offering me the trust to forgive myself.
So back and forth I go, cottage to home, home to cottage, finding the fruit, losing it, and finding it again. I believe that cottage time, this extended time alone, tips the balance toward the good. Jesus went off alone to pray, and we must do the same. I go to the cottage but I also find other times and places in the midst of community. You see, the cottage is a metaphor for that time away with God. I pray that you can find yours.