Looking back, to go forward.
2022 in numbers
In my recent January slump, I thought not much had happened in 2022.
Looking back, it seems I was wrong.
I made 156 loaves of bread to welcome guests to their retreat. As many people come on their own, most of these were eaten in silence and solitude, while enjoying the peace of nature all around.
However, we also do a lot of 'community' here at Treargel and hosted over 30 gatherings with guests, neighbours and family; including teen parties, BBQs, Alphas and Quiet Days. Only 3 were cancelled thankfully, not bad for such a strange year.
12 people used the bursary. Going on retreat can be expensive; so we were really pleased to support this many through our bursary scheme. Thank you to the APR and those that donated. Please do pass this message on.
1,350 minutes of silence were held during our Monday Meditations; listening to the birds, our thoughts or Neo the dog snuffling about. So 45 prompts to meditate by were sent weekly by email and put up on our Treargel Facebook page.
24 hours listening to guests and joining them on their spiritual journey.
Looking back I am thankful for the year and all that it bought. Realising the ups and the downs are all part of the journey, giving me strength to carry on. Thank you to those that joined us and we look forward to meeting new friends on the way.
Sometimes all it takes is a friend with a Listening Ear
In 2022 I had the privilege of Listening to 24 people as they explored their life's journey, grappled with questions and deepened their spirituality.
I offer 1 hour, at a pre-arranged time and place at Treargel (or on the phone), preferably at the beginning of the retreat. Another session can also be booked for the end as they prepare to go home. The cost is on the website, but can be negotiated, and helps pay for my time, training and ongoing supervision.
Quotes from Listening Ear sessions.
”Your listening has been very much appreciated. I was told once that we can think in a circle, but it's harder to talk in one - that listening space is truly important. Thank you”.
Shepherd's Hut, Sep 22
“The time I spoke with you Naomi, brought guidance and understanding, helping me just to be. I felt grounded and clearer while alone later on, on walks, having soup (amazingly delicious bread!) and spending time reflecting in the cosy Shepherds Hut.”
Shepherd's Hut January 2023 Day guest
“Naomi drew from my outpourings single threads or particular sentences and suggested I explore those a little more. [She] also recalled things I had said the week before and appropriately drew me back to them when they potentially held significance. I felt valued and held in a caring environment and able to share, sometimes in a vulnerable or raw manner and I received Naomi's offerings as significant”.
Byre, November 2022, weekly for a one-month sabbatical
“A lot of things have slotted into place after we spoke ... you have a gift”.
Shepherd's Hut, August 2022
Our Quiet Day on March 16th will continue the Treargel theme from ‘Breathe Deeply’ to ‘Rest Quietly’. We will be thinking about - retreating, refuge, listening, Being, allowing ourselves to let go and be in an in-between space, to wait for a while.
And perhaps some napping, who knows?
For more information on our Quiet Days and to book, click here.
I am really looking forward to doing some Spring Cleaning in the garden. Thankfully everything grows madly here in Cornwall, but this does include the brambles and ivy. So far, we have a team of 5, but welcome anyone who wants to come help prune, chop, weed or paint. The last place for someone to stay over free of charge is the Hermitage, for you adventurous types. But plenty of space for local people to come and join the workparty. PARTY being the operative word, because it includes great company, conversation, a BBQ, and cuddles from Neo.
25th - 28th March. Email if interested.
We are all in this together
Last year I wrote a blog about making Treargel more ecologically sustainable. One of my pledges was to encourage my leaders (political and commercial) to do the same.
So I have joined Christian Climate Action, who work alongside other nonviolent protest groups. They are planning the biggest climate protest yet called; The Big One 21st - 24th April 2023. ‘We’re working to bring 100,000 people protesting outside the Houses of Parliament in London – directly taking our call for change to those in power’. Do join in. Or (if you are a UK Anglican or Catholic) check their website to see if your diocese is investing in or divesting from fossil fuels. (Well done Truro, shame on you Southwark).
Furthermore, my friend Val is running a weekend retreat called “Being and Doing in a Climate Crisis” at the wonderful Penhurst Retreat Centre in East Sussex. Go here for more details.
Once again we will be making space for those that want to remember a loved one. Grief is something we find difficult in the UK and try to avoid. So we have bought some wildflower bulbs in-the-green (started sprouting) for people to plant around the grounds. They can then come and have a quiet coffee and cake here at the Barn. Plus, having English Bluebells, Winter Aconites and Snowdrops around will increase our biodiversity here at Treargel.
I will leave you with our Monday Meditation prompt from the beginning of January.
Tess Ward in her book The Celtic Wheel of the Year, says;
'Traditionally in Christian and pre-Christian cultures this has been seen as a time of transitions between old and new, of liminal moments, in-between places, the crack between the worlds. Spiritually, these sacred times are called "thin places", when ordinary time is suspended, and the sacred and earthly feel particularly seamless.'
May you find patience to rest and luxuriate in these in-between spaces.