February has been a month of church retreats. I went to three of them and kept my bags packed the whole month. Retreat season is over for now until spring. And I have a meeting this afternoon to plan a Renovare' retreat in the fall.
Let me tell you about the one I just came home from:
Here's a video of just one of the things that makes the Garland Women's Retreat so popular:
Here's another video of her singing at the 2011 retreat.
But that wasn't the only great thing at the retreat. I can show you gobs of photos of stuff. Here's one of my favorite snaps:
I took the picture just before Sunday morning's worship but the camera went off into it's own agenda and wanted to take the photo in black and white. And I didn't have time to figure out how to change it. But now I see I like it better that way.
Then I noticed there was a common thread among my favorite photos of the weekend. There was just a LOT of gray. Like these shirts:
We had a great spot to just sit around and talk. And Saturday afternoon we had a Taize service.
I think my favorite photo of all was the picture of Traci's mom, Bette, and I sitting outside Sunday morning. I had my coffee and Bette had her Dr Pepper. We just sat and listened to the birds.
It was so nice to listen to the birds and just be still. Anyone can get engulfed by sounds at a retreat like this one. And, as friendly as we are, I realized that Better never had the opportunity to chose to initiate a conversation on her own schedule. So I let the silence between us be a blanket of peace and freedom. And eventually she decided to comment on the birds but it got to be her choice.
My friends are getting old. But the best thing about friends--no matter their age--is that we are all aging at the same rate: one day, every day-- all of us at the same speed. Whether we welcome the passage of time or not, it happens.
Walking the same path, going the same speed. Walking together. Hearts beside hearts.
Let me end with a photo that was taken years ago. It showed up while I was going through the other photos and I'm going to add it here just because I can. It's my blog, after all. It's my favorite photo of Joy Mullins. Joy graduated to the Church Eternal several years ago. I think this photo captured her in all her soft glory. Joy is someone we could all aspire to become as we walk together. If a person gets even one Joy in her life she is blessed. And I have many. Thank you, God.