I took my headphones off as I approached the cemetery. It didn’t seem right to be blaring Fall Out Boy as I walked among the hundreds of headstones, each for a woman who spent her entire life serving the Lord.
I continued past the cemetery and around the small pound. I crossed paths with large man walking a small dog. A lit cigarette dangled from the man’s mouth; the hip hop music blaring from his headphones felt out of place on this scared ground. Then I realized- so did my rock music. I removed my headphones.
The path ended abruptly, just past the cornfields where the crows were already working to get their share before harvest. The end of the path was a busy highway. One direction lead into the rolling hills and white fences of Louisville horse country. The other direction signaled the beginning a medium sized city with a Walgreens and an Applebees. The small city felt soulless in comparison to the peaceful, holy grounds was my weekend home. I felt bad for the members of my group that needed to stay in the hotel just off the property. After an amazing day of reflection, community and love, they were forced to face reality in the real world. I felt lucky to stay encased in my little bubble of peace on the grounds owned by the Sister of Charity.
The meals this weekend were simple, hearty, country food. My accommodations- basic. My weekend of retreat- extraordinary.
I had no revelations about my life. I had no spiritual breakthroughs after a long and bitter spiritual drought. I didn’t come back a completely changed person. I did however, find some stability after a summer of change. I found simple joy in lying in the grass, the warm sun covering me like a grandmother’s quilt. I found community in like-minded women (and a few men). I found a tiny bit of my soul that had gone missing over the last year.