Saturday, 27 March 2010

2010:365:86 Retreat at Glendalough

Glendalough is a good place for a retreat.  Surrounded by beauty and history it provides an oasis at the beginning of the busiest week of the year.
The Dublin churches of Saint Ann and Saint Stephen gathered today for a parish retreat.  Short reflections and scripture meditations were separated by much time walking in the open air and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the Wicklow Mountains.
The stream that runs past and under the hotel has some ancient trees growing along the banks, clinging on for dear life!  Interesting shapes and patterns which were seen at their best today in the unbroken sunshine.
It is a photographer's paradise with ever changing light and texture.  Our opening session was a reminder of God the creator who is worthy of our praise simply because God is God.  It isn't hard to find reminders in such a beautiful landscape that God's world is a beautiful one.  I stood looking at some fresh moss for a while but was so absorbed with the greens that I quite forgot to take a picture!
Even the weathering on this concrete wall has become an attractive mix of texture and interesting colours.
The early monastic features are close to the hotel and many of the parishioners took a walk around them.  At the end of the day it was fascinating to hear how God used all sorts of images to speak to folk today.
The display on the table for most of our sessions was a simple Bible and candles.  The book mark is the Lenten purple and looked good against the white linen damask.
I liked the candle holders that the hotel provided for us - I'd forgotten to bring one and they were able to find something perfectly suitable.
It was a good day.  The drive both there and back was pleasant and fast.  Today's weather was perfect with sunshine from morning until night.  Thank you to Saint Ann's and Saint Stephen's (and friends) for the opportunity - and to the Vicar and Curate who organised it!

Blessed are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the assembly of the scornful.
Their delight is in the law of the Lord and they meditate on his law day and night.
Like a tree planted by streams of water bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither, whatever they do, it shall prosper.

Book of Common Prayer
Psalm 1

1 comment:

Ali said...

Ahhh Glendalough. beautiful part of God's own country ;-)