Last Sunday I had the good fortune to attend the Soul Day Retreat at ARC Retreat Center near Cambridge, MN. When I walked into the retreat center on Saturday morning I felt a sense of peace and stillness descend on me like a warm cozy blanket. ARC is truly an oasis of peace and tranquility. The focus of the retreat was Reverence. It’s not a word I use very often so I had ample time to reflect and meditate about reverence during the retreat. A quote from the retreat program by Albert Schweitzer made me pause and contemplate. Here is the quote “By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world. By practicing a reverence for life, we become good, deep and alive.” When I reflected on reverence these are the words that came to mind; awe, wonder, profound, respect, holy, gratitude, honor. A reading about reverence from Karen Hering’s book, Writing to Wake the Soul follows. “Listening is a good place to start. And watching. Go outside on a clear, dark night in a place where you see the moon and stars. Listen to the wind rustling through the leaves. Or wrap your finger inside the soft, curled fist of a newborn child. Or step into a worship sanctuary with its soaring ceiling and light-filled spaces. Look up. Look around you. Listen to the choir. Notice that the feeling of reverence is not really about becoming small. It is about finding ourselves in a web of life and deep kinship….In life’s grand ecology of being, reverence is actually a matter of profound belonging.” During the personal retreat time I decided to take a walk in nature. As I walked down the country road I spotted a majestic bald eagle overhead. I stopped and watched as it circled higher and higher awed by it’s beauty and grace. Minutes later on the same road, a deer appeared, then another and yet another, a total of six deer leaped gracefully across the road into the brush on the other side of the road. Two of the deer stopped in the middle of the road, turned and looked at me with their soulful brown eyes. I was so struck by the encounters with these wild creatures that I thanked them for the gift of reverence, beauty, wonder and awe they had given me. The Soul Retreat was indeed a soulful, rich and abundant experience and I left ARC feeling filled up with feelings of peace, serenity and joy. It was a soulful retreat for me and I am grateful for the experience.
What about you? What is your soul in need of? When was the last time you went on retreat? How can you get in touch with reverence today?
I invite you to join me at my next retreat in May at ARC Retreat Center. Details are on my website. Give yourself the gift of reverence.