Monday, December 19, 2011

What I learned in the mountains...

Back in April, I had the thrill and honor of attending the women's retreat for a church I've begun attending off and on. A dearly beloved friend - whose anonymity I will respect here - invited me to be her roommate. I hope I never have to turn down the chance to spend 48 hours in her presence, basking in her generous love, warmth, hospitality, generosity, grace, and inexplicable desire to be my friend.

While in the mountains, I learned a few things. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I was reminded of a few things -

1. I love crosses. I stare at them, take photos of them, wear them, and cannot imagine the agony, the shame, and the horror of dying on one. I love them - and they make me cringe, flinch, and weep.

2. Stained glass windows are a marvel. Even when they aren't stained. I want to know the stories of who made them, how they were made, how long they took to make, how many broken, warped, mis-colored pieces were discarded before each window was considered complete. I want to know how the windows were conceived, designed, and where the color, the glass, the images all came from. The entire enterprise fascinates me. 

3. The same view from the same spot looks vastly different at different times of the day.

Fog lifts. Clouds clear. The sun also rises.

 4. Given the choice, I prefer the beach, but a weekend in the mountains isn't so bad - especially in the company of seventy funny, intelligent, welcoming, God-loving, wine-drinking, game-playing, thoughtful, questioning, praying women - and the one man brave enough to be our weekend speaker.

Thank you, my friend. I look forward to many more retreats, coffee dates, lunches, labyrinth walks, and silent sits with you. I do love you - I hope you know that.

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