|Lizzie at 57th Fighter Group Restaurant|
|Path at the retreat center|
I left this morning before the group because I needed to get the equipment back to the church so it could be used in the Sunday school worship service. I was glad to be traveling alone. It gave me time to meditate on the retreat. I had been disappointed on Friday when I went up because the leaves have only barely begun to turn. I was hoping to get some picture, and really, just surround myself in them. Saturday morning was a little brisk, and as a result the leaves changed a bit more and I enjoyed some time in the late afternoon walking around on the paths surrounding the retreat. It was peaceful, but instead of being totally surrounded by the beauty around me, I was reviewing the morning segment in my head and conversations that
I'd held and many other thoughts and memories. Even on the way home, I spent the first little bit of the drive with my mind whirling around things that have passed and things that I need to do, not noticing the wonder around me. Then I rounded a bend where the leaves on the trees covering the road had changed, and a mountain was in the middle of the view, and I was brought completely into the moment. I realized that had been missing from my life for a long time. I wonder when I lost that ability. I have so many memories as a child of playing on a swing over a lake, or watching a sunrise from the backseat of a station wagon and being so absorbed in the moment, it feels like I could reach out and touch it now. The ocean had that ability with me. When I was in college, I would go out on the beach and blend into the beauty and power of the surf to get away from the stresses of classes and dorm life. I remember many moments like that with my boys, but only a very few with Lizzie. I wonder when I became so distracted that life happens inside my head and not in the surroundings that I am actually in. I so need to get that ability back. So I tried to focus on what was in my environment and not on the thoughts inside my head. It is harder than I imagined it should be. I think I need to take a break for a few minutes for a while to try to get that ability back.