After a long and busy lifetime, building, creating, loving, hating, fighting, compromising, failing, succeeding, the Fool feels a profound need to retreat. In a small, rustic home deep in the woods, he hides, reading, cleaning, organizing, resting or just thinking. But every night at dusk he heads out, traveling across the bare, autumnal landscape. He carries only a staff and a lantern.
It is during these restless walks from dusk till dawn, peering at and examining whatever takes his fancy, that he sees things he’s missed during his lifetime. His lantern illuminates animals and insects that only come out at night, flowers and plants that only bloom by moon or star light.
As these secret corners of the world are illuminated and explored by him, he feels that he is also illuminating hidden areas of his mind. In a way, he has become the Fool again. As in the beginning, he goes wherever inspiration leads him. Back then, however, his staff rested on his shoulder, carrying unseen his pack. The Fool was like the pack: wrapped up, unknown. The Hermit’s staff leans out before him now, not behind. And it carries a lantern, not a pack. The Hermit is like the lantern, illuminated from within by all he is, capable of penetrating the darkness.