Friday Favorites 4/11/2014

If you’ve been dropping in on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog for a while, you may know that twice a year, my Thursday Night Men’s Group holds a retreat.  For many years it was held at San Lorenzo Retreat Center but several years back it became San Lorenzo Seminary.  Many of us love the place but not enough to become priests in order to keep going.  Then we spent a few years at Mission San Luis Rey in Carlsbad.  I rather liked it there but the majority took what we call a Group Conscience (called a Vote in secular circles) and decided to move to our current location at the Santa Barbara Mission Retreat Center.  You might get the impression these are religious retreats because we keep ending up at missions but your impression would be wrong … the retreats center on the 12-Steps and are spiritual but not religious.

If you had told me ten years ago, I’d be attending a Men’s Retreat every six months … at a Catholic Mission, yet … I’d have asked you what you were smoking.  But tomorrow, I’ll be traveling up the coast with a friend for this year’s spring retreat.  I’ve been to enough of these retreats by now … 16 consecutive … that I know, every retreat is different.  Sometimes, I figure something out about life or myself.  Sometimes, I let something go that’s been bothering me.  The retreat a few years ago in Carlsbad led to what I regard as a spiritual awakening, a simple faith that I never imagined I’d find.  Sometimes, I make new friends of acquaintances that I’ve known for years.  I’ve grieved more than one friend’s passing there and I will find myself missing my friend, Stan, this year.  He’ll be with me in spirit.  Sometimes, I just relax.   Maybe this year I’ll find a way to slow down a bit, which would make my wife Muri happy.

Being the kind of man I am, I go into each retreat wondering if this will be the one that will be a let down.  I fight skepticism during the first meeting, trying not to notice it sounds like just one more 12-Step meeting.  Then it will happen.  Over dinner, in a hallway conversation, in a meeting, something shifts.  I’d say it’s magic except that it’s just too subtle.  I settle into the fellowship. I open.  And I change.  Sometimes, big changes, sometimes subtle.  Often, no one else even notices.  But I do.

Friday Favorite … driving to the retreat.

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One Comment on “Friday Favorites 4/11/2014”

  1. jenihill Says:

    Here’s wishing you a great retreat and lots of insight into all kinds of things!

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