My retreat really was wonderful. Restful, rejuvenating, healing. Did some hard, good, work. When I got home yesterday, my cielo said I was glowing. And it wasn't just from the snow/sun. I feel lighter, like I can breathe all the way through my body again. And very, very loved, by God and by the people who walk with me.
I'm still figuring how to talk about it, if I need to even. Some of it seems too intimately sacred to share, yet. But here are some photos in the meantime.
My hermitage, "Dorothy Day." (Appropriate, no?) She is nestled into the side of a ridge (as are almost all the monastery buildings, fitting the architecture into the landscape rather than vice versa), with the big windows facing south. I had a fabulous view; on clearer days I swear I could see New Mexico. That woodpile would come in handy. This was taken the afternoon I arrived.
The very next morning (Friday). Look what blew in! It kept snowing until mid-afternoon on Saturday. Gorgeous, really. My little wood stove made plenty of heat.
The monastery building, which also houses the common library and kitchen. Sangre de Cristo mountains behind, still quite snowy.
Cards and notes from friends for my birthday (Saturday was my birthday). These and the ones from my cielo were in the east window.
The monastery chapel, looking west towards the Rockies (waayyy off in the distance, on the other side of the San Luis Valley). The little bridge connects the monastery and the chapel and offers some amazing views.
Coyote (I think) prints outside my kitchen window. After the snow stopped, I would hear them every night. On the last night, a herd of mule deer came right up into my "front yard" outside the south windows but it was too dark for a good photo. I sat out on the step and watched them munch for about 10 minutes before they wandered off.
Station #11 of the Way of the Cross. Looking up (appropriately) into the Sangre de Cristo (blood of Christ) mountains. Not being Catholic and so not knowing these things very well, I had to look up #11. It's the crucifixion.
The sunset on my last night.
By the way, I highly recommend Nada if you're looking for a retreat. The hospitality is warm and genuine, the solitude well provided for (the hermitages are placed so that you cannot see one from another. Mine was at the end of the path, so no one ever came by...except once, to shovel the snow), and the landscape breathtaking.