Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bliss

Hello my friends, I have been home a couple of hours now and am still trying to warm up. We had a wonderful weekend just wonderful. We arrived at 9 o'clock Saturday morning, put our overnight bags away and sat down with a cup of coffee for orientation.....it was very basic, our beds were wooden bunks, we shared one bathroom, kitchen and a huge conversation room. The conversation room had big, over stuffed chairs and many sofas. The focal point of the room was a massive fireplace surrounded by a rock wall....it was all made by the natives and you could see their hard work and pride in every nail and in every craft......these are are the most wonderful, spiritual people I have ever met. Before each meal a native elder said grace....more like a prayer really and when the meal was finished another prayer was said......our meals were simple and everything had been grown on their property. We had many fruits, vegetables, homemade bread/muffins and soups, no meat or even fish yet the meals were delicious in their simple form.

We walked through the woods and along the riverbank....we did yoga, we said good night to the sun as it set and welcomed its return this morning.....I spent my weekend in awe of our first nations people and their creative arts but I also spent much of my time in prayer and reflection.....I thought of the young soldiers and their families that were killed and wounded on Thursday....I thought of how blessed I was to feel so safe at this precious retreat and prayed that all those involved in Thursday's horrible event would eventually feel the safety, peace and contentment that I was experiencing. My friend's tried to discourage me from thinking about this terrible day but I couldn't help myself.....my prayers were for them and their families.

I had a wonderful massage this afternoon, I am a bit sore tonight as it was a deep muscle massage.....I didn't go in the hot tub.....way to cold for me to venture out in a swimsuit. The main building and bedroom were comfy but I found them to be cold....I think it made me realize how fortunate I am to have the comforts I enjoy every day of my life, at times I think I even take them for granted.....This weekend was special and as we spoke on the way home we all were grateful for the time we spent at River Lodge as well as with each other. A special bond formed between us this weekend, we have been friends for several years but something special happens when you share nature and prayer together. We all felt it, that feeling of calm and comfort and agreed that we should do this every year......as I sat shivering in the car I said oh we should for sure but let's go in the Spring or even better the Summer. We all chuckled and it was the end of the perfect weekend.

Good Night and God Bless.........:-) Hugs

40 comments:

Teacher's Pet said...

This post is blissful....a perfect title, Bernie.
I'm glad that you had a peaceful time. I was impressed with many things....and hadn't thought of saying a blessing before AND after the meal. What a tremendous thing to do! Give thanks...always.
I hope that you have a restful evening.
Smiles to you from Jackie

Granny on the Web said...

Hope you didn't get too much of a chill in the bones!
Sounds a very peaceful place.
Keep snug and warm in your little haven.
Love Granny

Queenmothermamaw said...

Oh Bernie it does sound wonderful. I love retreats. I meet with a prayer group once a month and it is my turn to lead the group this month. Of course I will scripture focusing on Thanksgiving. I love and look forward to your visits.
QMM

Eileen said...

I'm glad you had such a peaceful yet refreshing retreat.
And I agree with you about forming a special bond when you come together in prayer surrounded by nature. It's as if everything becomes one.
It really did all sound so wonderful, I love the idea of a retreat like that.
I'm going to search and see if there is anything like that around our parts.

'So sweet of you to keep the families of the victims in your prayers as I'm sure they need so many prayers right now.
That is just so like you, Bernie. It's just your nature to be generous of heart.

'Hope you've warmed up by now!
Lots of love to you!, Eileen

Diana said...

Good Morning Bernie,
I am so glad that the weekend turned out well. But I am sorry that it was chilly. I hope everything is alright and that you are doing well. We missed you Bernie!
Love Di

Wanda said...

Good morning Bernie, what a wonderful experience you had, to walk away with awareness even greater than you had before. I love that feeling, when something touches you in away that makes you see everything with renewed deep appreciation.
I woke before dawn and was outside alone in the dark, close to the field, taking photos...I was so aware and thankful of feeling safe and not being afraid!
I'm glad you had such a great weekend, it is in the 70's here, am going out to enjoy it and of course rake a few leaves!

Luv and Smiles,
Wanda

Rebecca said...

What an interesting weekend you had. I can sort of envision the setting....I envy the massage (although I know what you mean about feeling sore afterwards).

Yes, the comforts of home ARE so sweet. We wrap ourselves in them and arrange them around us much like wrapping ourselves in warm afghans on a cold evening--and they fit us.

The past two days here have been SO beautiful! And the sunrise this morning would be hard to match in beauty. I go today to meet friends from 45 years ago! I am SO excited.

Have a grand beginning to your week, Bernie.

Choices said...

Hi Bernie,
Sounds like you had a wonderful and peaceful weekend. It always is so nice to get away and see how others live. Where was this place that you went? Yoga is so nice and relaxing as well. I love yoga. I go to a yoga class and the gym that I belong to. I feel so good afterwards.
Stay warm and have a wonderful day. Take care.

Gail said...

HI BERNIE-

I am thrilled to read of your wonderful retreat in the woods with dear friends. The conversation room I could just imagine with the huge fire place inviting you all to just rest in the warmth. And it is so true that after experiencing such deep reflection a bond forms with those with whom you shared the wonder.

Love to you my friend
Gail
peace.....

Bernie said...

Hi Jackie, my weekend was blissful and this morning I still feel the glow from it......Luv ya...:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Granny, I took forever to warm up but am feeling snug this morning. How are you?......:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Peggy, what a wonderful month to host your prayer group....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Eileen, if you have the opportunity to go to one of these retreats I know you will thoroughly enjoy it. It really uplifts the spirit....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hi Diana, I have finally warmed up, I think when you get chilled to the bone it takes a while. I so hope all is well with you and your family.......:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Good Morning Wanda, I thought of you this weekend as I knew how much you enjoy Nature, I can understand why you feel this way, it is a special connection and stirs the soul....luv ya....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hi Rebecca, it was a beautiful and reflective weekend....I loved it all and so appreciate being able to attend such a wonderful 2 days with people I love, it is really nice here as well, sunny and cool. I am going for a walk this afternoon to enjoy the brisk air..
....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hi Anne, River Lodge is about 2 and a half hours north west of Edmonton (I think it's also on reservation land-not sure though) I had a wonderful weekend, and am so thankful for my time learning and observing new spiritual ways of our natives...I have to say I did miss Mass as it is such an important part of my life....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hi Gail, thank you for your wonderful gift which arrived in this morning's mail...love it.
I had a very personal and reflective weekend, and truly enjoyed it....we will go back next year to renew our spirit....:-) Hugs

Barb said...

Oh, Bernie, I can actually picture the rustic and beautiful Natural world you describe. To be in the moment with friends is a wonderful experience. It enhances your life, and you can pass on what you felt and learned to others. Keep warm by your cozy fire!

Wander to the Wayside said...

I don't think I know of anyone else who describes a day quite like you do, Bernie. Lovely!
-Linda

Anvilcloud said...

It sounds like a very special weekend. First Nations people seem to be more connected than the rest of us.

Garnetrose said...

This was a wonderful post. I am glad you had such a lovely weekend. It sounded so blissful and the people sounded wonderful. I am happy you got to experience this past weekend. *s*

The Retired One said...

What a great time, Bernie!
I attended a Native American funeral once and it was one of the most beautiful I have witnessed. There is such a respect for nature in their culture...it is wonderful.
Glad you enjoyed your time there..you so deserve it!!

Bernie said...

Hi Barb, oh I love how you understand how I felt this weekend, it was such a beautiful experience. I have been so blessed Barb to be able to do these things, have a wonderful evening my friend, luv you......:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hi Linda, my life is simpe, my days are simple so it makes it easy to share them with all my blogger friends of which I consider you one.....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

A/C, I agree how the native people are so much more connected than we are. I think it's because they are not at all attached to anything material, oh I wish I could simplfy my life to be more in line with their's but I have become so accustomed to the comforts of today's society.....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hi Garnet, I had such a beautiful weekend and was so pleased to be able to share it with all my wonderful blogger friends, I am so blessed in many ways.....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Joan, native people are such a beautiful people and live such a simple life, I only wish I could be more like them but I'm afraid I have become so much more materialist and enjoy all the comforts they bring....my friends and I are going back next year for sure.......:-) Hugs

cinner said...

Bernie, I am so glad you had a wonderful time, and created a deeper bond with your friends. The quiet time sounds wonderful too.Hopefully you are in front of your fire warming up with a good book. take care, c

Valerie said...

Bernie, I was asked to give a blessing after a meal. I thought it was a mistake and queried the word 'after' ... I now put it down to my ignorance. I'm so pleased you had a peaceful weekend.

Bernie said...

cinner, I do hope you are feeling better, we had 5 more deaths in AB last week from that horrible flu.
I had a wonderful weekend and a really busy week this week, everyday I have something that needs doing......:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Val, there hasn't been many times that I have said an after meal prayer either, but it was refreshing to be among people who do it on a regular basis....:-) Hugs

Tranquility Speaks said...

Your account sounded so peaceful and I smile from the heart. We sure take a lot for granted, whose value we realize when we don't have it anymore! Soak in the nice feeling and keep warm Bernie. It's getting cold :)

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

What a wonderful way to spend a weekend. In one package of time you managed to fit in so much delight. It is a fun thing to "get away" it has a way of getting us closer to ourselves. Allowing ourselves to experience ourselves does indeed bring its own measure of "bliss."

Brenda said...

Yay! I am so glad that you could have such a wonderful time. It did make me shiver a bit thinking about that bone chilling kind of cold. Some things are worth a little uncomfortableness but warm "Home Sweet Home" again is good, too.

quieten said...

So glad you had such a nice time. I bet your own bed felt good when you got home!! It sound like you had some time to relax and rejuvenate your spirit..always a good thing.
Glad you're back safe and sound.
Huggz,
Quieten

Bernie said...

Hi Tranquility, don't we though, even at my age when I know better I still take things for granted, gotta change my ways....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Rose Marie, it was such a wonderful weekend, I am so thankful for my time at River Lodge......:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Brenda, no matter where I go or how long I go for I am always glad to get home.....I am becoming a real home body in my old age.... :-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hello Quieten, how is everything with you....Oh I am so spoiled as I love my own bed and after a hot bath wasn't long settling under my warm duvet......:-) Hugs