Back in the thick of parish life after three lovely days of retreat.
I'd been right in originally booking four, as it took me until pretty much tea-time on day two to settle into things, and stop the carousel in my head from turning and turning...The problem with being the one with whom bucks stop, is that there is often a whole herd of bucks milling about and demanding attention, and though I had asked them to stay at home, they aren't often obedient to my will. I was particularly struck by the way they returned on the last night: I achieved fourteen hours of sleep on night one, twelve on night two but found myself looking my old friend 3.00 am squarely in the face and making lists again on night three. Bother!
However, given a view like this from the French windows of my prayer hut, the audible silence that engulfed me from the moment I got out of the car, and the fact that I had no agenda whatsoever, beyond listening as hard as ever I could, it was indeed very good.
Of course, I have come home with all sorts of wild plans for Lenten self improvement...including an internet fast one day a week, which fills me with such utter panic that I think I may just have to try it. Mindful of the words of a very wise confessor who once suggested that I should NOT turn building a better Kathryn into my latest Great Project, I'm still conscious that the way things have evolved in the past couple of years isn't necessarily the best, healthiest or indeed the most obedient. I'm very thankful for BestSpirDir ever, whom I'm seeing this morning, and for the amazing gift of some work consultancy with a very gifted woman, who happened to have just created a space in her over-full diary on the very day when I finally dared to ask her for help.
It will be interesting to see where we end up together - but meantime my main ambition is to hold on to the perspective gleaned on the mountain top.