I am leaving tomorrow for a few days of retreat on Saltspring Island up in British Columbia.  I am bringing Tune, my camera, my journal, and my art supplies, and I will meet one of my dearest friends up there.

I went to Saltspring Island for the first time in January of 2006 and it was a powerful week of retreat for me.  Duke was with me and he kept vigil during that holy time.  I heard the whisper of the sacred presence all around me, calling me to new things that are still unfolding within me.  I spent hours walking along the wild edges of forest and ocean.  I am so very eager to return there.

Taking time for regular retreat is one of the most important spiritual practices I have.  I listen for God in all of my life, but retreat is a space dedicated to my relationship to something far greater than I am.  A source of wisdom as ancient as the universe, a source of love abundant enough to heal all wounds, a source of beauty radiant enough to make us stop in our tracks and breathe in wonder, breathe out joy.

May you be blessed by an awareness of the sacred presence moving through your most ordinary moments.  May you find time for retreat, a holy pause in the midst of a busy day, space to breathe deeply, or a gift to yourself of something longer, a spaciousness in which dive deep and discover who you truly are.

I’ll return on Monday. . .

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

(photos taken at Saltspring Island in January 2006)

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