Spiritual Retreat: A Winter’s Walk

For the next few days,  I will continue posting a series of journal entries I made on a retreat last winter.  Every six months I try and take a few days away to regroup and focus on one spiritual master.  Last year, it was The Cloud of Unknowing.


Day 3 Afternoon: A Winter’s Walk

As I loose myself in this grandeur, two panting breaths pull me back to earth.  A golden lab and his younger and darker brother find their way through a thicket adjoining some neighbor’s house.  Surprised, I wonder what disposition these hounds might bring to my morning.  We acquaint, and our friendship sparks.  Indeed, I will not be alone this morning to enjoy scenes left undiscovered.

The pathway calls me deeper, and though my toes and bones now feel the chill, I listen to the onward beckon.  I quietly turn another corner.  A flutter high above catches my eye.  I look to my surprise and find two cardinals, deep in red, jumping through branches.  Somehow, this sets my spirit ablaze in awe.  Has any other man seen such beauty of cardinal upon perfect blue sky and among the whitest of branches? The dogs take little care, and as the birds flit off, I am caught up in sheer wonder.

A deep peace flows over my body and spirit as I think of yesterday’s reflection.  My life’s future is unclear, and I have been fighting off a nagging apprehension, but now, in this moment, I am abandoned to this great Mystery who now seems so capable to lead me onwards. What kind of Creating Mystery would make a trillion trillion ice ferns for only one man and two dogs to see? Whatever the intricacies of this living God, I sense now that whatever may come, I will be cared for in a very intricate way and that wherever my path will lead, those Mysterious eyes will be waiting not for me to seek His benefits, but that I would simply learn to cast to Him my love and receive His in return…