Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Week From Friday

Last year about this time, Candy talked me into attending the Women's Wild Winter Weekend - a women's retreat up at Moon Beach camp in St. Germain. Now, I've somehow become "one of the faithful" at my church - I volunteer for things, and am there almost every week, and sing in the choir and all. But that does not mean I am AT ALL sure of myself on spiritual matters. I have old, deep scars from the church of my childhood (carlstevens.org), and will never be comfortable in any religious situation which requires you to check your brain at the door or demands blind obedience to a single person or group. Just the same, UCC seems to work for me - open and affirming, independent and conscious of social justice - these are things I can accept. But still, a women's retreat sounded suspiciously like being trapped in a 3-day-long church service full of zealots.

I should have trusted Candy. It was great! Yes, there were services every night in the big lodge, where 40 or so of us gathered around an enormous fireplace and contemplated spiritual matters. But it wasn't pushy or offensive, and I loved singing with the impromptu all-female choir. I loved goofing around in a cabin with 15 or so women ranging from 25 to 75, learning to play dominos and mix old-fashioneds. I loved how the deer came right up to the dining room window, watching us eat dinner and munching on the donations left for them. I loved learning how to snow shoe, and having a chickadee land on my hand in the middle of the north woods. And I loved meeting women from all over the state who had a spiritual side and were comfortable with it, but had no interest in ramming it down my throat.

I'm headed back to Moon Beach for this year's retreat on March 7th. I can't wait!

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