It has been three years since I attended a Walking With God Retreat, and I was not quite up for one. too much noise for this silent guy. so I adapted.
Friday morning, I being not on top of things asked.... What is the topic of this retreat I am packing up for?
Mosaic Woman.... Dark Night Of The Soul.
Me..... I signed up for a dark night of a soul! How stupid is that?
I largely signed up to see some good folk, especially WC. We each consider the other a spiritual master. I may be right. And there she was as I entered the building. Soon enough we were laughing. She is like that, exuberant.
I tell WC..... we need to talk. We set a time.
The Mennonite Catholic (she loves singing hymns with the first and the daily mass of the second) who presented on St John of the Cross and dark nights of souls, makes it clear to me that I have been in a dark place for the past 4-5 weeks. I begin to think that maybe, just maybe God remembered what I had signed up for and said, "OK, so now is a good time to have his past crash back on top of him."
I skip the first workshop which I had signed up for and head to the labyrinth in the woods. It actually loops around a few trees! I have walked them many times and this may have been the deepest a labyrinth has taken me. I went places I won't go to here, but God, WC and Mosaic Woman have agreed to go on the journey with me and it just goes to prove that no matter how much one thinks one has healed, there is room for more. I need to go there. Or I can stay where I am. Wholeness is not all that it is said to be.
I skip the second workshop and head back to the labyrinth. I am calmer. I go take a nap.
I sit with WC and she listens. I ask for help. I swat mosquitoes away from her.
After dinner. After the Taize service. After the Eucharist. After the campfire. After the chat with a stranger in the dining hall, who clearly does not understand personal space isssues... gave me a hug this morning. After I drive down to another part of the camp.... another car pulls into the parking lot. A young woman is looking for someone. It is a name I know. A woman I know from many retreats. I say, "I can take you to her."
Riding back up the hill, I find out that the husband of my friend is in the hospital. Soon I will be in bed listening to Keith Jarrett's piano soothe me as I think of friends who have received bad news while retreating with God.
The next day, I offer up a prayer to these two women.
Then I am helping a Mennonite Catholic prophetess with her luggage. You never know who will bring you out of the darkness by taking you deeper into it. WC seems to think I need to contact this prophetess. So I ask her for her e-mail. For now, the perennials I planted last week need some water.