Seeing more clearly on retreat @AbbeyRetreat Bath & Wells Diocesan Retreat House

I am in the orchard in the gardens of Glastonbury Abbey, which as a guest at Abbey House Retreat Centre, you are allowed to enter. It is 11.40 a.m. And the scent of the apples is so heavy, it hangs in the air like a mantle. It is overwhelming and intoxicating.

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I feel overwhelmed with wonder and tears, a garden has become Eden, nature has become creation. As I look around I wonder what century I am in, it could be 700 A.D. So timeless and English does the orchard feel.

I am reminded of other times when it feels like I have been clinging to a cliff edge, the edge of a ruin, but stubbornly hanging on, like a little plant blown to the edge of life by the wind.

imageEven there it is possible to blossom in the face of difficulty. The tricky thing is not to cling to the radiant moments or push away the more difficult ones. The key is to experience them as they are.

Afterwards I am often aware that God was there in the difficulties, as He is so abundantly there in the moments of epiphany and wonder.

Going on retreat enables us to see more clearly, and respond with gratitude to life and to the Giver of Life.

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