Last week I was on retreat.
- Beautiful colours of autumn against a solid blue sky
- A doe and her half-grown fawn (they live behind the cabin I was staying in, so I saw them several times)
- A wild tom turkey (which I almost hit, because he dashed into the road…)
- A red-tailed hawk (only ten feet away, outside my window)
- Snow in early October!!
- Meditated for most of Sunday
- Missed DP and the pets
- Walked a labyrinth
- Stayed up to midnight without feeling guilty
- Read several books (some for fun, some for the book, and one “professional” book)
- Had three fires in the fireplace
- Outlined a book of my own
- Ate healthily
- Walked almost every day
- Journaled regularly
GilChrist (the retreat centre) is a wonderful place. I can highly recommend it as a place for a solitary retreat or for a small group retreat (I don’t think they can hold more than about 12-15 people at the most). After I was greeted and given a tour and taken to my cabin (Jeremiah House; somehow very appropriate!), I was pretty much left alone. If I wanted to wander about and speak to other people, I was welcome to do so—but no one came by to invite me to the various activities at the main building (I had been told about them) or to “check up” on me. I had said I was doing a solitary retreat and they respected that—my solitude, my silence, and my space.
Jeremiah House was just about big enough for a table, two chairs, a small kitchen, a bed and a dresser, with a fireplace/chimney in the middle, and a bathroom to one side. I also had a lovely small sun porch. The table stood in a tiny bay window overlooking the meadow where the deer played and the mist flowed in the morning like an ocean. All around the cabin were woods, with wrens, chipmunks, jays, nuthatches, turkeys, deer and raccoons, all feeling safe.
I wrote, I read, I slept, I meditated, I stared into space, I simply was—for a whole week.
And now I pray that the serenity with which I returned will remain with me for a long time.