Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Going Home Again

So I've been gone for a few days now. It has been exactly what I needed. I have had plenty of time to pray, to sleep, to read, and to just be. On Sunday afternoon, I was so grateful that it wasn't yet time to go home. I wasn't ready. I think that was the big problem with the retreat back in September... it was too short and too structured. I didn't have the time I needed to uncover myself from the layers and layers of "real life" that gets piled on.

Yesterday was the key. I spent the entire day alone. I was the only guest at the B&B, and since my hosts had invited me to dine with them on Sunday evening, they honored my request to eat breakfast alone on Monday morning. After breakfast, I spent a little time reading in my room, and then took an hour-long walk in the cold, November gray. Followed that up with an hour in the Shrine Chapel, just me and Jesus. There is a peace and a quiet here that I have not found elsewhere.

The afternoon included a nap, a nice long drive on the windy, rural roads, and finally dinner. Just me, a book, and a tasty dinner, tucked into a booth in a quiet restaurant. Last night, I caught up on some reading and writing, watched a movie, read some more, prayed some more, and fell asleep early. Absolute perfection in so many ways.

But, the best part is, I woke up this morning at my usual time. (Finally... I've gotten caught up on my sleep!) And I am ready to go home. I miss DH and the kids. I miss the craziness of our everyday lives. I am hoping to take this calm, this peace, this camraderie I've developed with Jesus back home with me.

My retreat will close with noon mass at the Shrine... the last mass at the Shrine for this year. I didn't realize that when I made these plans; it was just a happy coincidence that I should be here for the once-a-month mass. And then, I have a 90 minute drive back into my real life. I think I will keep the radio off, and will treasure the silence just a little longer, before the noisiness invades and fills me once again.

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