Saturday, January 30, 2010

retreat

On Monday I'm heading to Sewanee to a clergy retreat at St. Mary's Center. It won't look as serene as this considering that it's mid-winter and we've just had snow, but it will still be serene. More importantly, it will be away. Retreat. Down time with rest and nourishment for my soul. I plan to read, pray, do some needlework, a little journaling, and visit with my colleagues. And rest.

It's been too long since I had this kind of time away. In fact, the last clergy retreat I attended was at the beginning of the Iraq war. I remember that because I was knitting a prayer shawl for the wife of a soldier being deployed. I had the bishop bless the shawl, and that occasion is etched in my mind.

I'd like to return to knitting. Against all odds with a romping puppy in our midst, I attempted a project as we approached Christmas. McKinlee did seem to catch on to the fact that knitting in my hands was forbidden territory, so maybe there's hope that knitting is something I can take up again. I've got a scarf I'd like to do, but I want to use a pattern that's interesting enough to make the effort worthwhile, but not so different that I have to refer to a pattern constantly. It's been a long time and I don't remember a lot of the stitches I used to know in my sleep. But I digress.

Retreat. Perhaps the thing I most covet when I'm on retreat is that no one expects anything of me. No dogs to tend (translation: McKinlee's waste management system won't be my concern). No meals to fix or dishes to wash. No laundry, no meetings, no anything that isn't of my choosing. Time apart for peace to penetrate my being and to hear the pulse of my soul.

And time to listen. There has been evidence in the last year of God's voice trying to reach me, and I want to recollect those strands of wisdom and direction, piece them together to hear and discern their call. In the last year I have had glimpses of the vision that God desires for and with me, but too often the daily demands of life have pushed them aside and they have become tangled and muted. Time to invite those pieces of divine inspiration to emerge and be present--them to me and me to them.

I am so ready. So ready.

2 comments:

The Bug said...

A retreat sounds like a great idea. How long will you be gone? I reckon we'll survive without you :)

Jayne said...

I love that last paragraph... that pretty much sums up why we all need time like this. I am on their mailing list and have entertained doing one of their Centering Prayer weekends. I need to give it more thought. Have some very wonderful, restorative time my friend...

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