I am preparing for a women’s retreat.
Thirty-one of us from church are spending a weekend apart from the things that claim and name us.
This year, we are learning from a yoga teacher the ways we might imagine and live integration of our beings. This is no ordinary teacher. Deborah is a friend of many years, and watching her unfold into the teacher she is has been constant reminder to me that we each are called and we get to choose to answer. Deborah did. She is now running a thriving studio, writing books, and crafting life in such a way that others come to soak in her presence.
We get to soak in presence. The presence of each woman on the retreat is unique and remarkable. It is no small gifting, this time apart. We are presented with the chance to claim and name our own beings.
As I am readying myself for this year and the thirty-one who will make community for a weekend, I am reminded of the yearly groups who have gone before. I have led retreats some twelve times or so. Each time I am wondered; how is it God creates such complex and stunning beauty? How is it we are allowed the chance to grow and learn and laugh together?
I’m aware that each woman who has gone on retreat through the years is with me yet. I think of them as I pack and ready. I remember and give thanks and pray that this weekend will bring rest and stretch for this year’s batch of beauty.
We walk in community always. The chance to be apart to remember strengthens our being. Each woman, unique and beautiful and seeking and open is woven forever into the story that is life.
Amazing grace, that.