a little rest

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I enjoyed a little retreat at the weekend. Two nights away in a beautiful place I have been to before, which is so peaceful. Westwood Christian centre in Yorkshire has a little place in my heart. I seem to have stayed there at really key times in life; in celebration and new beginnings and in despair and disappointment. Its simple, comfortable flats never fail to host me with loving arms.

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I spent the first night alone, enjoying silence and time to think, pray, write and read. The centre’s welcome book had helpfully included some questions to prompt reflection, such as ‘what significant things have you noticed in the past week, month, year?’, ‘where do you sense your attention is being drawn?’ and ‘what is on your horizon…and what obstacles are in your way?’ I found these a good starting point for my thinking and listening, although I reread my answers and wonder where to start!

The following lunchtime, two special friends arrived and we spent the rest of the day talking and sharing. Literally 12 hours of talking and knitting, stopping occasionally to eat, make more tea or pop open the champagne (of course). We laughed and dreamed and wondered and shared. There was so much to share, so much goodness and also struggle. We had a ‘rite good natter, as they say in Yorkshire! Isn’t friendship such a blessing, when you really know each other, when you can pick up where you left off, when you know what the other is thinking? And they’ve both become serious knitters, though someone forgot her knitting so her commitment to the handcraft is now in question! Lucky I had my colouring book to keep her hands busy.  There was much excited chat about the wonder of alpacas. Most blokes just don’t really get this stuff! I was inspired to step up my knitting and challenge myself a bit more. There was a little sadness in my heart that I’m not closer to share it all with them more often and I shed a few tears when it was time to leave. My, I love those girls. We got so stuck into chat & knit that I forgot to get busy with my camera so most of the memories are in my head.

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It’s really good to get away from home, from your work and all the normal stuff, to look at your life and listen for what’s next. And to be thankful. We had a few nice days with family before and after the weekend, and it was so lush especially to spend time with my nieces and nephews and smell the cheeks of the newest babe…delish!

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Oh, and he loved the blanket – apparently, its his favourite colour. What was I so worried about? 😉

It took a few days to work through that depressing transition of coming back home from holiday when you just have to get on with it all. Do a lot of laundry and be at places for an actual specific time and work out what everyone is going to eat today. And I forgot just how hard work a puppy is, after a week away from her. It felt like a bit of an uphill struggle towards the end of January.

The snowdrops and spring buds are teasing me but there’s still a fair bit of cold weather left. Some sunshine would be really great right now. Holiday to New Zealand anyone? Let’s keep dreaming…

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