This is the view which greeted me from my window at the lovely Nathaniel's Retreat in Mundaring, where we spent last weekend. We had a blessed time. We talked, we walked, we ate yummy food, we read, we slept, we celebrated.
We have absolutely enjoyed and benefited from our program of retreats this year. The chance to get away for the weekend is always good, and to go somewhere with lovely scenery and such is lovely too.
A retreat may be all this but it is so much more. It is a time to consider what makes for real happiness -what makes for real contentment -what goes wrong with our dreams and plans, and how we might make it different next time. What resources we fail to acknowledge, what help is there always waiting for us to ask and receive.
It acts like a massage for the body -but works on the inside.
A good retreat leaves a lingering effect. I have certainly felt it this week as I went through my week. In times of stress I thought of what I learned about myself on retreat. In times of repose I remembered the good times on retreat.
And both DH and I have planned to take this retreat pattern, as much as we can, into our routine every weekend. We want to plan for at least one day each week in which we do the kind of things that are joyful and restorative. For us this means we must do something that takes us out of doors -walking in beautiful places for example. (We decided that this could include gardening, because we both have a lift in spirits whenever we do this).
It does mean sharing time with family and friends -and being open to them and their needs. Love is always restorative!
We decided that we wanted to break our routines -a cooked breakfast on the patio for example. This morning DH made poached eggs florentine with freshly squeezed orange juice.
What goes to make up the rest of such a day is still something we are considering. I hope this can become a good habit and that we can learn what makes for 'rest for the soul' and seek it out together.
What would you include in a day like this?