Saturday, November 17, 2007
A Day Retreat
I spent over five hours in this chair today over at the Bible camp on the other side of our small town. Sheri rode her bike over, and when I arrived at 10:15 this morning, she was already settled in an Adirondack-style chair beneath the bare trees. We chatted for a while and caught up a little; as we both have four kids and homeschool, we don't often have interrupted time to talk. But soon Sheri returned to her journal writing and reading of Dallad Willard's The Spirit of the Disciplines while I pulled out my morning devotional books: my beloved 1928 Book of Common Prayer, Diary of Private Prayer, King James Study Bible, My Utmost for His Highest, and The One Year Book of Hymns. I spent well over an hour with these books, and when Sheri left shortly after noon to run errands and attend a soccer game, I finished up and started some journal writing.
Imagine my surprise in seeing four dear women from Lake Murray Community Church strolling past me on their way to lunch just fifteen minutes after Sheri left! Yep, Laura, Monica, Jan, and Laurie came over for a quick word before proceeding to the dining hall; they were attending a special retreat for women's ministry leaders. After another half hour of journal writing, Norm stopped by and we ended up chatting for almost an hour. Norm lives and works at the camp, and I've come to know him from our creative arts council; he is quite a successful plein air painter in acrylics and his stuff is selling all over Southern California. We talked about Keith's stained glass window project, about my health, about a wheelchair-bound artist he's met who needs some encouragement, about having an arts workshop at the Bible camp, about our arts council, etc.
After Norm went back to work, I continued to enjoy the day; the weather was simply lovely. The sun was almost too hot, but the slight breeze was crisp and the grass under my bare toes was soothing. When I finished writing in my journal, I played around with part of a poem I found in the back of another notebook, nibbling on some trail mix, and tried some Centering Prayer for a short while. After the meditative prayer, I picked up the book I'm reading for Logos this month: Cry, the Beloved Country and spent nearly an hour engrossed in the characters and their issues, both personal and political. I am nearly halfway through it and am greatly intrigued; I'll write more about it when I finish the book. When my watch and the sudden cooling of the weather informed me that it was past three o'clock, I got up, returned my extremely heavy bag o' books to the Corolla, took out my camera, and shot a few snaps of the camp, including the chair above where I spent five blissful hours talking to both people and God -- and enjoying every second of it.
Aaaah, the peace of relative solitude and silence! Sheri and I hope to go back for another day retreat in a couple of weeks, weather permitting. This kind of day is the type from which one comes home absolutely, totally, completely refreshed.