And so we start again
Yesterday saw us open for the first time this year. We now have 10 people staying, albeit with my nephews on the floor and my dad trying out the Shepherds Hut. Despite the fact, he is yet to finish the windows, ceiling and edges and it is 3 degrees out there tonight!
Anyway, it is wonderful to be welcoming people to breathe deeply, rest quietly and think clearly once again.
Thanks to all those that came to our online retreat last month Finding Your Song. If you wish to do the contemplation, click here to find the page on my website, including videos of the sea, brook and woods I created for it. During the retreat, my good friend Val was inspired to write this wonderful poem.
Were I to read Your palm,
O God of blood and skin,
and follow with curious fingertip
Your furrows and ridges
webbing out in eternal paths,
I know I would find there all whom I love,
Or I would not love them,
and myself in amongst them,
etched in the lines of the dirt from Your toil
and the brilliance of Your scars.
Inspired by the verse;
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands ..." Isaiah 49 v 16
By Valerie Freeman
Val has also written a wonderful novel called The Kind Darkness of Trees.
An interior, moving novel about a woman struggling to come to terms with the fault lines in her past, "The Kind Darkness of Trees" explores themes of loss, dissociation, faith and forgiveness with a gentle intensity.
'A beautifully written novel with the right degree of poignancy hope and expectancy.'
Personally, I love the way Val captures the minutiae of life with such insight. Really recommend this for an uplifting read.
Here is the link if you wish to buy it.
Slowing down on a retreat is a great time to do some reading. During lockdown we have been updating our library. There will be a list in each cottage of all our books so that guests can choose and borrow any that take their fancy.
We have been building up books on Spirituality, Meditation, Celtic Christianity, Inclusivity, and general Retreating. By authors such as Richard Rohr, Ruth Hayley Barton, Nadia Bolz-Webber, Barbara Brown Taylor, Rob Bell, Brother Lawrence, Erling Kagge, Laurence Freeman, Henry Nouwen, Padraig O'Tuama, Philip Yancey and Anne Lamott.
When you come and stay, please do take a look.
I am also writing a new contemplation. This can be done together online (15th May), here on Treargel grounds, at home or on a walk, by yourself or in a group.
The contemplation will use the pattern of the reflective Ignatian Examen prayer, with verses from the Lords My Shepherd psalm. I am hoping it will be an interesting way to process and reflect on this strange year that we have had and look to what is ahead.
Email me if you are interested.
I will end with a few pictures taken around and about the place (with a few obligatory pictures of the dog!)