Friday Five – Blessed Rest

This is a corner of the chapel that I tucked myself into for most of three days.

This is a corner of the chapel that I tucked myself into for most of three days.

  1. Tell us about a place (retreat center or other getaway spot) that offers especially good hospitality. What makes it so for you? Seton Spirituality Centre in Terrence Bay. Whether I spend just the day or several days, the gentle presence of the nuns who live there, quiets my body and soul. Their house is on beautiful grounds with the ocean close by and there are a variety of spaces that are available to curl up with a good book or gaze out the window; the chapel on the top floor is imbued with the sacred. You are on your own for breakfast, which means you can get up when you want. The kitchen is always open and you are invited to help yourself to whatever is in the cupboards.   
  2. Is there a ritual of renewal that you seek, or that you find especially helpful, while on retreat? (naps, reading, knitting, staring out toward a different landscape…) All of the previous! I took my cross-stitch with the last time I went on retreat and it gave me the tool I needed to reflect on many aspects of ministry: there are times that even when you follow the pattern closely, you make mistakes, there are times when you make a mistake and you realize it soon enough to compensate for it, there are other times when there is nothing to be done except unpick your work and start again. And there is a time to put it away. Echoes of Ecclesiastes 3.
  3. Retreats/getaways often have a way of washing over us with its own gifts, no matter what we may seek from it. Tell us about a time that such a gift made a lasting impression. The gift of spacious time, where my physical needs for food and shelter were met. 
  4. Imagine that a gift bag was waiting for you on your bed when you checked in for your time of sabbath. What would you like to find in it? A new best selling novel that I am 100th on the list for at the library that I wouldn’t buy for myself.
  5. Besides a dessert buffet featuring chocolate, what is something you would love to see a retreat/getaway offer that is typically not part of such an experience? Great bathroom facilities; most retreat centres have rather spartan ones. I rarely take a bath at home and would love to spend some time luxuriating in one. 

Bonus: You’ve been granted a weekend off, and the means of getting away is provided. Where would you like to go? I would like to stay home and spend time in my gardens. I actually enjoy the ritual of weeding etc. but not when I am pressed for time.  

4 thoughts on “Friday Five – Blessed Rest

  1. So with you about the sacredness of the ocean and the special power it brings to a retreat house–one of the things I miss most about my growing up state of California. As a hymnwriter myself (though the new blog just has a few posted so far) I totally love your work–what a great discovery from a great FF!

  2. I love the idea of a kitchen that is available to retreatants. That speaks of welcome, to me. And yes, cross-stitch! I know exactly what you mean about mistakes and ripping out, or incorporating and letting be. You’re right about bathrooms, too. I’m with you there, as well, about weeding. I’ve even embraced the task in heat and humidity this summer, but gratefully so. Thanks for playing!

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