We just returned from the 14th (or so; my second) Women's Retreat at my church. 28 women went to the ARC Retreat Center north of the Cities. The weather was perfect -- a full moon at night, crisp sunshine during the day, little wind.
Our theme was rocks and stones and we shared biblical images of stones as well as our own relationship with stones, rocks, and geological formations. We talked of stone searching, rocks in our pockets, cairns, mountain crevasses, north shore rocks pounded smooth by years, and how "life is a tumbler" making our rough edges smooth.
Of course we ate. The food at the ARC is always amazing -- wholesome, introduced at each meal with delight by the staff, and oohed over by all the women.
I stayed in the hermitage. We completely filled the ARC with our group and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try it out. I enjoyed the trudge out to the hermitage when everything was done at night. The moon was full which was a lovely light to walk by, and the coyotes howled the first night I was there, although I wonder if I was dreaming because nobody else heard them.
We spent some time in group worship (with original songs written for the occasion) and conversation together, and we also learned to knit and bead bracelets. Someone taught me to crochet, very patiently.
And then we had free time. People napped,took long baths, continued knitting, or went outside to snow shoe or ski. I took my camera. I walked through waist deep snow to get these pictures.
A few brave souls made snow angels this morning before we left.
(Red berries on a bush.)
We can hardly wait to go back.