So after a pretty full-on couple of weeks (that, by the way, shows no sign of letting up anytime soon) I had the opportunity to go and spend some time with people from all over the Darling Downs who happen to go to the same brand of church as me. Much of it was business meeting with heaps of chatting time between, around (and even the occasional cheeky interjection during) the meetings.
But Sunday was especially wonderful.
They had arranged for a retreat day, and whilst the music during the introduction/focus part wasn't really my preferred style it was designed for us to focus and it did help me to do that. It also tied into some of the talks from the days before about setting time aside to listen and "waste time with God". Maybe they planned that.
But my absolute favourite time was when we were given a worksheet and told to go off by ourselves for a bit. I loved the gentle way they introduced it, and told us all that if we wanted to get extra comfortable on a mattress with our eyes closed that was okay too.
So I headed off down the hill to the creek. The site is adjacent to a national park and is entirely beautiful. Tall eucalypts standing like classical pillars, supporting their canopy so far above. We had gentle breezes weaving around the mountains to caress our faces. I couldn't help being reminded of all the similarly beautiful places in Victoria that no longer exist and popped up a few prayers for them on my way.
When I reached the creek I sat down on the causeway that is the main entry to the property and enjoyed the happy, noisy splashing sounds that a determined current can make against the rocks. I had time to just sit. Sit and let my mind wander. Let my mind wander and breathe in deeply the refreshing air. Watching the play of filtered light over the water, quick-silvery over the rocks and next to invisible in the pools. I watched the bubbles lightly borne on the surface.
After a while I lay down on the moss-covered concrete and shielded my eyes from the sun and continued to enjoy the sounds of the creek and the calls of different birds, particularly the clear, percussive sweetness of the bell-birds.
Later I sat up and must have been so still that a little speckledy-stripey water dragon came and started eating ants within a couple of metres of where I was sitting. Quick, decisive movements then still and stick-like.
I did work through the worksheet, but used it as more food for mind wandering than anything else.
So this week is just as busy as last, but I feel like it is do-able. And it's mainly due to taking the time to listen to a gurgling creek. How much would I ever want to give up these few hours?
... Approximately None.
Tokyo's unexpected green tinge
5 days ago