Thursday, September 08, 2011

"If..." Take 1

When I was in California last year, the friend I stayed with introduced me to this fabulous book:

It's a great conversation starter, that we used extensively throughout our visit, and that I've used from time to time ever since (for example, on road trips).

And, it's the book that's the basis of my new "If..." feature, appearing on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the place of You Ask, I Answer.  The book is full of questions beginning with "If..." and every Tuesday and Thursday I'll pick a question and answer it in the post.  What I'd love to have happen is for all of you to answer it as well in your own posts (and link back in the comments) or simply answer in the comments.

So, without further ado, here's the very first "If..." question:

If you were to found a spiritual retreat, where would it be located?

If I was founding a spiritual retreat, it would be in one of two locales.  The first would be somewhere with palm trees and oceans.  The second would be somewhere in Kananaskis country, a beautiful part of the Rocky Mountains, near my home.  In both cases, the important thing would be that it be a place that is quiet, removed from noise and stress.  Not necessarily deeply isolated, but somewhere far enough away from the closest neighbors that you can find a place on the property to truly be alone.  It would be full of warm and cozy spots to curl up -  blankets and pillows and fluffy couches and chairs.  There would be a kitchen stocked with healthy treats and chocolate, and lots of tea (and I suppose coffee for those of you who just can't get your heads around the fact that the stuff is not only bad for you, but smells and tastes terrible as well!).  There would be a library, and a quiet place for writing and art.  A prayer room like the ones I was involved with in 24/7 - with the walls covered in paper, and the prayers of those who enter drawn and written on them.  There would be candles, and a few people who are wise, and good listeners available for those who need to think and pray aloud.  It would be a joyful space, with color and life, and lots of plants.  And it would be a peaceful space. 

Come to think of it, I don't think I'm only describing a retreat centre, I'm describing a great number of details from my dream home, and place of ministry.

And you?

If you were to found a spiritual retreat, where would it be located?