Have I told you how much I love my Bishop? He subsidizes these massages when the clergy come up for the clergy retreat, so we can afford them. Now, if only he could subsidize some liposuction, then I'd really be in business.
The rest of the time was a mix of conversations and meditation and writing and reading. Some of these were rich, some were mundane, but they all were blessing because we actually had the time to sit and talk with each other. The meditations for the retreat were sort of meh, but at least time had been carved out to attend to them. Sometimes just being quiet is enough...
Food was solidly in the Southern comfort-food category, although they have gotten better about offering things that are not deep fried. A pity, that. Part of the joy of the place is having a few days of eating really, really, really badly, so that when we come home, we are poised to re-enter the land of good nutrition with something akin to joy.
I had the option driving home the fast way (all highway, with lots of trucks) or the back road. Despite the longer trip, I took the back roads. You see things on back roads that you don't see on the highway.
Here is what I saw:
- a hay bale with a smiley face painted on it
- three dead deer by the side of the road
- several Tea Party signs, some with truly frightening misspellings ("govamint?" really?)
- a young father with a shaved head and ZZTop beard as well as an amazing collection of facial piercings and tattoos, waiting as his young daughter was dropped off by the school bus, then tenderly taking her hand and chatting with her as they walked up his drive
- barns that are falling over
- people selling pumpkins out in front of their homes, with honor jars if no one is there to take payment
- a house with probably twenty cords of wood stacked nearby - they must be expecting a really cold winter. Time to get out the long johns.
It took me about a half hour longer to get home, but it was worth it. I got to carry a little of the serenity of a few good days in my head and heart a bit longer. I hope that glow sticks with me for a while. it's good to interrupt the work every now and again.
File this under "things I need to do more often."