A retreat aims at restoring health, energy and inspiration with a little rest. Last week I was on retreat with my daughter in a beautiful setting not far from where we live. The Mount Carmel Spirituality Centre, just north of Stony Plain provided comfortable shelter, essential amenities and an abundance of peace.
Allergies forced us to bring our own food. Cooking together developed into a very enjoyable challenge as I had forgotten a few of the elements we had placed on the menu, such as cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches and the vegan margarine. We did remember the pots and pans in the endeavour to avoid cross contamination.
Rest and recreation
Rest, in the form of sleep, preoccupied us for the first couple of days. Our daily schedule included movies, reading, writing, crocheting, doodling, drawing, playing games, eating and sleeping. The weather determined our outside activities which featured two rather long hikes through the woods around Chickakoo Lake among others. Dogs and other humans were in short supply, adding to the pleasure of our retreat.
Sleepovers and emails
A fun afternoon and sleepover with some of our grandchildren delayed my return to reality and the responsibilities connected to over three hundred emails. The first correspondence I opened occupied the next three hours interspersed with getting meals and making wine. Ah yes, red wine, the elixir of life and the very enjoyable accouterment for our daily retreat just before supper.
The retreat accommodated my failing supplies of reference photos for future work as well as much needed rest. It did not help my lack of photo references for other seasons besides winter. Nonetheless, winter is one of my favorite seasons to paint. The negative space is delicious.