Tuesday, January 30, 2007

All good things must come to an end

[Retreat Continued]
“Nothing is worth more than this day” Goethe

Standing in the doorway gazing out to sea, the ocean seems little phased by the night's rain. The waves are still capped by puffs of white foam. The beach at low tide still resembles a fast food lane for the birds. I wonder if the jelly fish are gone, but I can’t tell from this vantage point. I’m tempted to go down and put my feet in the water before I leave, but decide I better not chance frostbitten toes.

For all it’s tumbling and churning, the ocean looks little different or worse for wear. I, on the other hand, feel lighter, more in control of my emotions, ready to go home. I’m having a debate with myself as to where to go to church, but if I don’t close this computer and get going, I’ll be late whatever I decide.

Next time I run away (and I feel sure there will be a next time) I’ll work on being more decisive. And I think I’ll change that phrase. Instead of saying I want to run away, I’ll declare it’s time again to run towards something; and that something would be ME.

“It is said that one conquers dullness not by moving one’s body but by changing one’s soul.”*

[Post Script ]

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” Nelson Mandela, A Long Walk to Freedom

I’ve been home for three days. Although Anderson suggested that it should be a gentle thing, my re-entry period was non-existent. I missed church, drove home, and hit the ground running; laundry had piled up, the dishwasher needed to be emptied and refilled, etc. etc. etc. I had the makings of a pretty intense head cold. My father seemed to need assurance that his investment had paid off. My Sweetie, God bless him, tried to be interested in me even though his mind was really wrapped around the fact that his daughter-in-law was about to undergo brain surgery. The dog welcomed me by wagging her tail and jumping back on the couch with her bone.

On any other day I might have turned my suitcase on wheels around and headed back to my haven by the sea. But, here’s the good news. I didn’t want to go.

On the outside it didn’t look like anything had changed. On the inside, however, there existed a whole new vista. I was physically congested, yet I no longer felt emotionally constricted. Is that feeling going to last? I don’t know, that still remains to be seen. I am pretty sure the key is to keep working on what Anderson calls the six R’s – retreat, repair, retrieve, regroup, regenerate and return – as well as to look for, and rejoice in, what she calls “soul-filled moments that bring tears to our eyes, catch us off guard, make us gasp, and send warmth through our veins.”*

I like that – soul moments. My short time away was full of them. Healing rocks, singing bowls, encouraging strangers, rhythmic waves, letting go, laughing children, rain on the roof, chocolate snacks, hot showers, coming home and feeling renewed. A girl can’t ask for more than that.

I encourage anyone who might be reading this and can relate to some of the same feelings to read Joan Anderson’s books, then seriously consider some time away. You don’t have to go far, just far enough to have a different vantage point. I wish for you the same thing I found … peace.

*Joan Anderson, A Weekend to Change Your Life, pg. 227

Merry ME

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