Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dangerous Mind

Okay, yesterday I did something totally out of character. I was reading my book, minding my own business, when out of the blue (seemingly) I had a thought that I should go to the Holy Land (no, not that Holy Land). My hermitess nun's retreat center in central Missouri- she calls it the Holy Land. This thought came into my brain about 1:32. At 3:06, I was packed and on the road to Lake of the Ozarks. I left kids and husband for 3 days of silence and solitude. I didn't plan it, I just got up and went. I paid the mortgage, made dinner, arranged my kid a ride to soccer, gased up the van, called my husband at work to tell him what was up, and then I left on a 3 hour drive. I've never done anything like this, not sure why I did it now. But I felt an urgent need to get away from my life for a little while and process things. The Holy Land is beautiful. It's a little meadow nestled in between foothills on all sides (you can't make a cell phone call from there). Sr. Morningstar has many scultures and well tended gardens, along with her cottage, the retreat cottage and a small chapel. Folks also camp out in the meadow, or stay in the teepee, that's been erected on the land. Except for Morningstar and her dog, I am alone on the land. I read, write, pray, meditate, do chores I'm given (Morningstar says work can be done as a meditative practice- she tells me to imagine my old self being transformed as the wooden bench is transformed as I clean and oil it- I bet she learned that from Mr. Meyagi- 'Daniel son, wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off...') and gaze in wonder at the beauty all around me. I am in silence but it is not quiet. The sounds are constant, but not like city noise. In the relative quiet, I can hear my own voice. Not sure if this is an epiphany or descent into madness -it's sometimes difficult to tell the difference. My heart feels at peace, but my mind is all ablaze. Mostly I'm here to experience God(ness) and re-create my life and refine my mission. Tall order for 3 days in the sticks... I kinda feel like Moses ascending into the mountain wilderness. We'll see if I emerge in 3 days with an ethereal glow and a spiffy new hairdo (if Charlton Heston can get one, why can't I?)