Tuesday, December 14, 2010

beginnings of a retreat

{Notes from my journal as I leave home & begin my silent retreat}

It's cold today so I go out and warm the car, turning the dial to high heat. I go back inside and gather the few things I'll take with me for my three days of silence. A bag of food, a small bag with a change of clothes and toiletries, and a backpack with a couple of notebooks and books. I chose the books carefully. It would have been easy for me to stuff numerous good reads into the bag. Instead I chose a book of poetry by Hafiz, a book of Yoga Sutras, and a book with writing prompts.

Andy walks me to the car. I ask him once more if he's clear on the "rules". "You call me if there is a dire emergency. I call you if I'm on the brink of going crazy" I say to him. "I'll text you later", he replies. I give him the look that says otherwise. We both laugh. Thirteen years together has taught us a few things about one another.

In the car I make two last calls, one to my sister and one to my BFF before officially beginning silence. Turning off my phone, I hold down the red button, realizing that rarely do I do this. Just me and my thoughts from here on out. Not even Taylor (yes as in Swift...I admit I'm a fan) sings to me.

The drive through the countryside is beautiful. A blanket of snow remains in the woods. Horses are standing in the fields, cows nuzzling by the hay. I drive over the Kentucky River and see a flock of birds sailing through the air. I make a mental note that never would I have seen them had I been on the phone, jamming with Taylor, or checking the latest Facebook update.

I turn onto the road that leads me to Loretto. It's a smaller country road with a creek that runs to my left. On the other side of the creek are the woods. The sun is shining through the trees and creating the most interesting flickers of light on my left eye. I'm astonished by how much more aware I am. And yet I haven't even arrived to my cabin in the woods, appropriately called Simplicity.

Driving onto the gravel road that leads me to my cabin I immediately feel at home. The sounds of the car tires on the gravel feel comfortable and familiar. Third cabin to the right S had told me in the email. I pass Hope, then Namaste and pull into the shed when I see sweet Simplicity.

It feels good. I get a flutter of excitement as I walk down the short path to my cabin. I open the door and I'm immediately happy. And relieved too. For what I see is the coziest of cabins. Plus a handwritten welcoming note from S. A small twin bed sits in the corner. A quilt and an afghan make the perfect spot to rest. On the mosaic wood floor lies a braided rug. There is a rocking chair and a small side table to it's left. A wood stove in aother corner, one that I'll use as the weather is calling for snow this weekend.

For a moment I sit in the chair, gaze out the large window into the woods. It's just after noon, the sun is sitting high in the sky, shining through the trees. This cabin has everything I could possibly need for my time and purpose here. I sit and soak it all in. The silence. The sights. The sounds. The general sweetness of Simplicity. I decide there is no place I'd rather be.

{On other retreat news I sat down earlier to begin re-writing content for the annual Tulum, Mexico retreat. I opened a book for inspiration and landed on this....it's a letter I wrote to myself on the last day of our retreat this summer. Love it.}

1 comment:

Where fibers meet mud said...

thanks for sharing your silence with us... peace to you~~