Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sabbath by the Sea

Each year, I see information about Sabbath at the Sea and consider attending the "personal retreat with others". I've heard nothing but praise for the annual event, but going means taking time off work, and school workers just don't get time off other than sick leave. 

But this year, I decided to go for it - to not worry about the lost wages and give it a try. I signed up for a half-week session led by my friends Susan, Gary and Mauri.

So after work last Thursday, I jumped in my car and hit the road to Twin Rocks in Rockaway Beach. But first, a quick stop in North Plains for gas and a creme de menthe hot chocolate:
Since this is a small retreat, limited to 12 participants, it was held at Harbor Villa, the camp's smaller retreat center on the water and nearer the center of town. I've enjoyed many retreats at the main camp, but this was my first visit to the other site.

I'd requested a room with a private bathroom, and I had lots of space to spread out and my pick of four bunk beds or a double. I went for the big bed :) No ocean view but several windows for fresh, sea air:
There was so much freedom in this retreat. There were three short group meetings each day that included music, learning and some sharing, but all were optional. Three meals were also provided - again, all optional. All the other time was our own to read, reflect, sleep, recreate, whatever. The main camp was also available for putt-putt, disc golf, hiking, etc.

I chose to attend all the group sessions, partly because I didn't want to miss the chance to sing with Mauri! I also wanted to take advantage of the wisdom of our leaders, Susan and Gary. Plus, the group was really fun! I was afraid they might be "stuffy", but we were actually fairly sarcastic, providing lots of laughs.

During Friday's "sabbath time", I did some reading, took a short nap, and then went for a run. Not wanting to stress my calf/Achilles, I stuck to the frontage road. But I had to grab some pics at the turnaround:  
It was SO warm and calm! I ended up in shorts and T-shirt:
After lunch, I retired to my room for more reading. I started to doze and thought, "What the heck? I have nothing else to do... " So for the second time Friday, I took a short nap. Ahhh.... Heaven!

I was up and prepping for dinner when I realized the sun was setting over the ocean. I grabbed my coat and camera and walked out to see this:
And this:
And this:
Several of us were standing together, snapping away at the sky show.
From Harbor Villa:
Saturday also included two (!) naps and a cloudy, but mild, walk on the beach:
I walked south to the main camp and then hiked around the Charlotte's Mountain trails.
It was misty and gorgeous!
The place is overrun with salamanders - watch where you walk!!
Sunday's workout adventure was an awesome run down to the camp and around Charlotte's Mountain.

The whole weekend was very peaceful and relaxing. I so enjoyed, without any pressure, the freedom to do what felt right at the moment. The leadership was excellent, providing good worship and learning time. The food was amazing (I ate way too much!) The people time was fun and fulfilling, as was the alone time.

I will go back. Anyone interested should check it out and take a chance. You won't regret it. Click HERE for more information.

1 comment:

  1. Nice, Liz. Sometimes napping is the most spiritual thing you can do.