I am home from my first retreat.
The first of many years to come I hope.
Surrounded by the energy, love, compassion and tenderness of about 40 women. Each one of us came to retreat with an agenda - a set of things we wanted to address, accomplish, deal with, put behind us.
I know for certain that my own agenda took a right turn at about 8:00am on Saturday. And it took several other turns throughout the weekend. I don't believe I was alone in that experience.
In the end, because of the random path that God laid out for me to pick my way thru, I came back to the beginning a changed person.
I took a walk on the grounds on Saturday after breakfast and morning prayers. And already I could sense that something had changed; I just didn't attribute it to myself. I commented later on that day that the light there was - different. Crisper yet softer; deeper colors. The smells were different - there was a spice to the outside air that was unlike anything I'd experienced.
By Sunday afternoon I realized - it wasn't the air or the light that was different - it was me.
I can sum it up best with a quote from a Celtic Benediction by J. Philip Newell:
I watch this morning
for the light that the darkness has not overcome.
I watch for the fire that was in the beginning
and that burns still in the brilliance of the rising sun.
I watch for the glow of life that gleams in the growing earth
and glistens in sea and sky.
I watch for your light, O God,
in the eeys of every living creature
and in the ever-living flame of my own soul.
I am...who I am. I am the best version of myself that I can be.
And it is enough.
This...is my time now.