sounds of silence

"To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life. Many wants are suffered, which might once have been supplied; and much time is lost in regretting the time which had been lost before." ~ Samuel Johnson

The last weekend of September I went on the Annual Hiking Retreat with Churchy Church (my home church), to act as cook and general kitchen-bitch for the weekend. I was prepared for a simple menu--

Saturday breakfast: Bacon, red pepper & onion quiches, bagels and muffins, cereal
Saturday lunch: Sandwich bar with soups: Chicken tortilla and Chicken & wild grain rice (these were a la Campbells), salad, raw veggies
Saturday dinner: Beef and Chicken Kabobs, Veggie Kabobs, pitas, raw veggies, saffron rice
Sunday breakfast: Blueberry pancakes, sausage, bagels and muffins, cereal

--and hoping for some peace of mind and some time to reflect on all that has unfolded in the last year. It is almost comical to think of how much simpler life seemed as I sat alongside the shores of Lake Huron this time last year. How in some sense my life really was just beginning then...all the hard work was about to pay off. Ahh, to go back in time aways and know what we know now. Would things really turn out any differently?

I drove up with Pam on Friday night. Pam is absolutely one of the coolest people I know!--we actually met because we drove up together last year too--and again this year, like last year, we got confusedly lost and the 1.5 hour drive became 2 hours. Being lost was totally cool because we had the best conversation about the current election stuff. It is refreshing that Pam and I see eye to eye on many things. Pam also is very easy to laugh so in no time we had stomach cramps, especially after hearing some weirds things as we drove a winding road through Deliverance country. (Pam, you heard the monkey too...right?)

The theme of the retreat weekend was Silence, and after Pam's insightful reflection I found myself drawn to the benches that overlook Lake Huron, which by a dark, starless night was not to be found, though it was rather unmistakably present through its' pounding waves against rocky shores; the strong wind pressing my clothes against my skin; throwing my hair back from my face. So cold and fresh. Those that have never experienced the Great Lakes know not of our fresh water seas--as beautiful and majestic as the great oceans of the world. And there is something about the rhythm and rush of water that really, truly speaks to me. I think it is the salt water that runs through the veins of this Sailor's daughter. I am always called to and by the water. And I felt nothing less than a very kin-ness to the water and the dark and all the night
sounds that enveloped me as I sat there in my own silence.

The rest of the weekend moved on too quickly. It was no time before we had meats and veggies marinating in the fridge, and then skewered, and then dinner was served Saturday night. And then in another batting of the eyes it was Sunday breakfast and I had overslept a bit and was frantically cooking blueberry pancakes and trying to stay calm as I rushed through the morning routines, listening to a mixed cd--which Amos made what seems like eons ago.

And then it was cleaning and moping and repacking cars and in another minute, I was looking back in the rearview mirror at the familiar strip of road. In no time Pam, best friend L and I were all flying down country roads towards a bigger, small city, laughing and chatting as we drove. And in what seemed like another five minutes we were unloading cars and saying our goodbyes to each other and a lovely, peace-filled weekend by the shores of Lake Huron.


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