“Everything that is today could not be if it were not for that which was before.” ~ Abraham

….and for that which was before, I am grateful.

I sit in profound gratitude for the experience of community and friendship in the Lyme community, and for enjoying that in person at the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford, ME.

We were greeted by the Sisters who took such loving care of us, who tended to us like we were the most special of guests in their home, who took delight in learning new ways of cooking to accommodate our myriad of requests with our plethora of dietary restrictions, who set a vase of yellow roses in our meeting room, who took the time to get to know the retreat participants and were moved by the challenges of our community. For this, I feel gratitude.

aretreaters.shining

Nothing is more moving than being in the presence of authentic self-expression, the generosity of giving and receiving, the immediate experience of family. To witness and be part of, simultaneously, the ebb and flow of a group moving through various ‘spaces’, from the adrenaline infused opening session where travel and illness fatigue went unnoticed amidst the joy of deep conversation, to the following morning session where everyone was slow and low but present and loving, to the kindness of therapeutic yoga in which the group quietened and relaxed, to the second evening’s session that began in silence and in which the softness of love facilitated deep openings and a flow of tears infused with love, and finally into the closing meeting that was filled with the eternal knowing of each other as ourselves. For this, I feel gratitude.

The retreat experience didn’t only occur in the group meetings. It flowed easily into the dining room where friendships were made and deepened over meals, where conversations led to bursts of laughter and unexpected AHA moments, where snippets of people’s lives were revealed and then cherished by all who were privileged to hear them. For this, I feel gratitude.

I cried after I was home, for these friends who lovingly were the canvas on which my love could be painted. Relationships are symbiotic…for this I am profoundly grateful.