Today in America we are celebrating Thanksgiving — a day set aside to pause and count one's blessings. And eat, of course.
I am on my annual Thanksgiving week retreat. Normally I would be at the Abbey of Gethsemani but the monks are having the guest house refurbished and it is closed until March 2018.
Not to be daunted, I switched abbeys and am staying at the guest house at St. Meinrad Archabbey. It is about an hour's drive west of Louisville.
I have found that monasteries are the quietest places and make for the perfect retreat. No one bothers me. The food is prepared and served and the cleaning up is done by someone else.
I brought my watercolor paints and sketchbooks and two books of essays by Ann Fadiman - Ex Libris: Confession of a Common Reader and At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays. I have read both books before but am in the mood for them again. The books are small in size and comfortable to hold. The essays are thoughtful and engaging.
Hope your day is splendid and that there is plenty of pie.
Happy Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for all my book blogging friends. Enjoy your quiet retreat!ReplyDelete
Hi, Joan. The retreat was restful and the monks put on a delicious Thanksgiving feast! The rhythm at this monastery was very different from the Abbey of Gethsemani where I usually go, but it was just what a needed. Everybody needs a little time away. Hope your day was just like you like it.Delete
I hope you have a wonderful and refreshing retreat, Belle. I've read both those collections of essays and they are delightful--good companions for your stay, as are your watercolors. Happy Thanksgiving.ReplyDelete
Hi, Kathy. The retreat was quite refreshing. I read, played with my watercolors, ate, and napped. What more could one want! Yes, Anne Fadiman was the perfect companion. I so love Ex Libris...I hugged the little book to me with delight!Delete
This sounds wonderful. Just a few months ago I told my husband I would like to do a retreat at a monastery for a few days. This may push me to explore my options and follow through. I hope your time was restful and rejuvenating.ReplyDelete
Hi, Mrs. Henchy. I am lucky to have three monasteries within an hour's drive of my home. Many places offer directed retreats that include programs or presentations for the participants. That is too social for me...so I go the private retreat route and set my own schedule. If you google 'monastery retreats' many options come up. Good luck. If you want more info about my retreat experiences feel free to email me: bellebookandcandle(at)hotmail(dot)com. Thanks for your comment.Delete
From your comment responses I am trusting that your retreat was restful and all that you had hoped for, Belle. It always seems like a meaningful and restorative way to spend this time of thanks giving.ReplyDelete
Hi, Penny. Yes, the retreat was a success...if that is the right word. Enjoyable? Refreshing? Restorative? All of the above. Trusting you and your family had a full-of-thanks day.Delete