We finally made it out to our favoured retreat spot this weekend. But it was cold, and windy, and we never managed to stay outside for more than 20 minutes. Once we had warmed the place we enjoyed our natural setting through the windows as we curled up in the glow of the wood stove. From our sheltered, protected view it was easy to rejuvenate and feel at peace with nature and the world. Here’s a peak into the inspiring views we enjoyed, and proof that we did go out walking.
Sunrise, at 8:09 AM
Long afternoon shadows at 3:00 PM
Preparing a toboggan run and leaving our trail on the river.
Savouring tea and time away in the warmth of the wood stove.
This was my context for reflecting on the rightness of hearing tributes for Nelson Mandela during Advent, at a time when we wait and hope for peace more intentionally. I hope and pray that this honouring of his legacy may turn many hearts toward peace this Advent. Responding to his passing provided a kind of retreat into the things that make for peace for so many of the world’s decision makes. Would that it could provide the needed reorientation for them, as our retreat days were providing for us.
Part of the Monday evening prayers in Advent readings from Take our Moments and Our Days reinforced the idea that gentleness and forgiveness are powerful agents of God’s peace, as was Mandela’s gracious connecting with agents of Apartheid.
The following words were particularly moving:
Incarnate God, holding tenderly all things human, you became one of us. Lighten our hearts with Mary’s vision of your just mercy, that we may be gentled into joining you in the hard and holy work of releasing peace on earth. (p.60)
Blessed second Advent.