It looked as though the fairies had had quite a tea party under the great oak trees that parasoled Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House.
Like an Amazon giant, my feet crunched many of the delicate china teacups and crystal wine-stem glasses. I found myself meticulously bending down to salvage some of the still-whole goblets and collect them in my pocket as a child hordes seashells on the seashore. It's as addictive, that's for sure.
I gathered them to bring home to my girls who love fairies and tea parties and dollhouses-size samplings and other girlish fancies. I delighted in their anticipation.
This is the peace I find during retreat time. Time to quiet my racing thoughts. Time to savor the creative juices of nature. Time to thank God for His generosity in my life. Time to quiet my soul with silence. Time to slow down. Time to collect
fairy goblets acorn casings. Time to experience fellowship. Time to receive an outpouring of God's graces. Nothing but time.
God demands this holy time. He demands we take time to listen to only him. He instructs us to "Be Still, and know that I Am!" Even Jesus, son of God, retreated from his daily ministry and duties:
"Then he made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray." ~ Mark 6:45-46
Trivial pursuit, one sighs. What a still mind...what a silo of the mind...what wasted time. Slowing down? Who has time for slowing down? Others shake their heads.
I wonder what they would do if they knew it was their final moment on earth. Would their peace of mind be shattered? Would they run uselessly around in a thousand directions, accomplishing nothing? Would they tear their garments and fall on their knees in too-late lamentations? Where would they find their peace?
A retreat gives you peace of mind, quietness of soul, clarity.
A car passed by on the side of the boulevard. If I knew it were my final moment on earth, I would go right on collecting nature's china and crystal for a tea party celebration.
"The house of silence and sacred sod, Where nobody speaks to anybody, And everybody speaks to God."