June 10-12, 2013 Retreat Near Bodies of Water

JUNE 10-12, 2013 – RETREAT NEAR BODIES OF WATER

 

Monday, June 10th:

            Reeds Lake setting surrounded by Grand Rapids…

            2 swans bobbing on the open waters…

            Teased by a breeze that freely blows effortlessly…

            Tiny children shrieking with delight at “you’re it” and running on the open plush green grass…

Motor boats whizzing by with skiers holding ropes for dear life…

Seagulls flapping just above the water… fish seeking maybe…

Whitened clouds covering some of the baby blue sky…

All this right here… where I am free to be, breathe, read and pray…

On a step-away retreat day that was rainy early on…

But sunlight wanted time and space and won!

Adult ducks with 2 mini-ducks swim their way with parental protection unbeknown to them…

God, You must smile with delight in viewing this view…

Free for the finding if one pauses to step away from the push-rush…

And settles into a convenient bench where June invites eagerness for even warmer weather…

Truly I’m privy to this vestibule of heaven…

No entrance fee or posted open hours…

Just here to linger, inhale and exhale nature’s beauty which evokes a question…

Why is a moment like this so rare, too rare…?? Mmmm… just do it!

 

Tuesday, June 11th:

7 AM – Fogged my way to Grand Haven with both hands on the steering wheel…

                        Munching a Starbucks spinach wrap between sips of hot bold coffee…

            8 AM – Arrival and settling in on a wet channel bench…

                        Wrapped in a multi-colored car trunk afghan meant for weather like this…

Trusting fog will pass as I prayer-paused with Jesus Calling plus Prayers & Promise

9 AM – In Brigadoon fashion the mist dissolved slowly as the sun kissed my neck and back…

                         The cyclists, dog-walkers and runners increased using the channel’s sidewalk path…

          10 AM – Time to put reading aside and get a “move on”…

                         Cadence walking on the boardwalk westward towards the lighthouse pier…

                         Still thick patches of white stuff hiding the lighthouse I know is there…

                         Passing rocks and sidewalk sand plus other folks on a similar mission…

                         Fog falls and sun surges battle for dominance…

                         Made it to the pier-end where fishing poles hung over the sides trying to tantalize fish…

                         Wind still chilled by the open air o’er Lake Michigan abbreviated my sit-stay…

                         Moseyed back with a few people pauses (I’m an extrovert, you know, even on retreat)…

          12 PM – Finally the fog gives full way to the sun as I indulge in a picnic lunch on the first bench..

                         Rounding out this sacred morning drive away to the Big Lake…

                         Adding it to other Grand Haven fond and dear memories from numerous yesteryears…

                         Knowing this space is reachable if/when I carve a chunk of time…

 To absorb its renewing energies typically found when water is the central attraction…

 Back now to the big city with anticipation of urban beauty after a nap at HOMAH 2…

 4 PM – Nestled now in Meijer Gardens plush green foliage…

                         Aware of artistic mastery in sculpture and nature, both natural and arranged…

 A soothing scene at every turn including waterfall laughter tickling rocks below…

 Refreshing the large koi that call this their year-round home…

 This vestibule of heaven shouts-sings God’s majesty in multiple hues, shapes, sizes…

 And I move one bench to the next invited to sink into my spirit with the Spirit…

 Words are peripheral to the core of being immersed in an environment of awe…

 Why are my walkings and sittings here so hardly-ever…?

 Why each time I come do I ask myself how long until the next…?

 This spacious acreage of diverse creative realities waits and welcomes me and others…

 To bask and bend and be re-membered as one with all Divine permeation…

  I wager this is another near-by sanctuary that will lure me again… Mmmm, just do it!

 

Wednesday, June 12th:

            Day 3 dawns and with it a trip to Starbucks and the YMCA for a bodymindspirit work-out…

            Morning prayer with Kathy on our treasured porch hovered over by an expansive sycamore tree.

            Dedicating this Spring day of grace awaiting details that the Divine will divvy out…

            Off to Aquinata Hall for Mass with a mass of my dear Sisters…

            Listening to Joachim inviting us to leave the chicken coop and soar like the eagles we are…

            Letting ourselves be embraced by the Spirit’s ever-always unconditional love…

            Sitting post-Mass solo-silent imbibing Paul’s sin & death force field a la Rohr’s interpretation…

           

            4 PM – John Ball Zoo used to be a neighbor space when I was a west sider for 14 years…

                         Now I’m a guest on a bench overlooking the circular pond…

                         Where a bubbly water fountain forms the center piece…

                         Causing ripples that glide to the shore line quietly…

                         As my mind grapples with the paradoxes of St. Paul…

                         I’m unavoidably distracted by chirpy birds twittering…ducklings scurrying…

                         Squirrels scampering… geese swaying sideways as they peck grass for morsels…

                         And all the while Nessie stays stationary attentively observing all the action…

 

            5 PM – A final water scene – lovely Riverside Park overlooking our grand Grand River…

                        The waters slowly move southward toward and beyond downtown…

                        The trees on the other side of the river hide the post-work traffic on US 131…

                         But the steady sounds indicate probable bumper to bumper traffic hurrying north…

                         Bench sitting a last time I prayerfully ponder Paul’s paradoxes further…

                         And affirm with him the both-and aspects of all life…

                         I have respectfully breathed in ALS-struck Ed Dobson in his Prayers and Promises

                         A devotional about facing a life-threating illness (he’s still alive 6 years later)…

                         I have re-acquainted myself with Healing the Purpose of Your Life

                         Originally compiled by Dennis, Sheila and Matt Linn focusing on our “sealed orders”…

                         And I have been richly renewed by one of Thomas Merton’s treasured quotes:

                                                 

                                                True encounter with Christ

                                                 liberates something in us,

                                                 a power

                                                 we did not know we had,

                                                 a hope,

                                                 a capacity for life,

                                                 a resilience,

                                                 an ability to bounce back

                                                 when we thought

                                                 we were completely defeated,

                                                 a capacity to grow

                                                 and chance,

                                                 a power

                                                 of creative transformation.

 

                         All and all, all in all, I bid these three days adieu…

                         Carrying broader-deeper insights into my on-going journey towards the Great Beyond…

                         That I know is as real as my writing this today…

                         But for now my earthly mission continues – evidently and obviously…

                         God be praised…

 

                                                                                                                                             Susanne Tracy, OP

 

                       

 

           

 

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