8:30 AM – I connected with my first spiritual directee. The two of us gathering around my altar (pictured here). She shared and I served as an instrument of the Divine. She left feeling ministered to. Awesome!
11:30 – Qi gong captured my attention. Shyly I made my way to the flower lined patio and joined several comrades, some with bare feet, posed on the still dewy grass. With patience and humor, my colleague Rev. Lucy Bunch, lead us through the 8 Brocades of Qi gong. My favorite movement was the Eye of the Tiger. Powerful stuff. One session and I am convinced to try again. YAHOO, new spiritual practice!!
There was a yummy Greek salad for lunch and white fish with a lemon herb sauce for dinner. How sweet it is to eat healthy food that I did not have to prepare on dishes that I did not have to load into the dishwasher or wash by hand. What a privilege. Thank you, Mary & Joseph Retreat staff.
7:30 PM – Taizé inspired signing out by the Labyrinth. Our sun is setting. The air is chilly with a gentle breeze floating over the hill. All the song sheets are given out. Folx still arriving - we must share. A second wooden bench is put in place to accommodate the number of enthusiastic participants and to provide some measure of social distancing. Masks cover our nose and mouth. We lift our voices in soul stirring harmonies. Some of us begin to cry. It is emotionally overwhelming to sing together. It is good to be together. An inspiring way to break the silence at the close of our second day.
8:00PM – Vespers. Still vibrating from the experience of singing; we slowly stroll to the Chapel. Once again, we dawn our Mask to sing. Then we are transported to the world of trees. Rev. Sharon Wylie reads aloud from the Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. Our souls are reminded of the majesty and splendor of trees and our interconnected web. Did you know that trees are about 50% water and we humans are 60% water? We are related.
8:30 - Self Soothing. Many of us have traveled many journeys this day. For a brief 20 minutes folx are invited to find a comfortable spot to be in the Chapel. Yoga mats, pillows, eye coverings and snuggly blankets appear. Mother earth holds us as we rock and sway with the images in the meditation. We prepare to sleep, to let go and make way for the body to restore the body.
My soul feels peaceful and ready to bid this day adieu. I make my way to the lounge where there is an urn of hot water at the ready for tea and an oversized bag of gourmet popcorn. Seated in front of the large wall to wall window facing the Courtyard I make myself comfortable. Eyes softly gazing upon the night beauty through the glass. Low and behold a handsome raccoon appears. And another and another. For a short while, we companion each other as we enjoy our respective snacks from our semi-protected places. Surely Spirit is in this place. Good night and blessed be!
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin