John Lubbock once said, "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time".
That's exactly what I did on Monday. I took advantage of a Quiet Day Retreat offered by Mission San Luis Rey. It started at 9:00 a.m. and ended at 4:00 p.m. I was assigned a room with a bed and desk (no television) with a window that looked out on some beautiful flowers.
|Bed and Desk|
|View from Window|
I was free to write, nap, walk around the beautiful grounds, pray in the chapel and, of course, attend Mass at noon before being served lunch.
My original plan was to start working on my devotional in progress so I put on some music (I did bring my IPad) and got a little done, but nature called. Wandering through the gardens I realized it had been quite some time since I've taken time in silence ... to just "be". The weather was gorgeous (of course this is San Diego County) and a light breeze flowed through the rose bushes, sending their sweet aroma swirling. I walked completely around the mission grounds, taking in all the sights and sounds.
Mass was held in the main church. It was nice to see so many in attendance on a Monday afternoon. I spoke to a woman who was there with her three children. She told me she was taking them on tours of all the missions in Southern California for their Spring Break. Her ten-year-old daughter told me all about the ones they had seen already and spouted off facts on each one. What a fun and exciting way to learn more about our faith and its history. Kudos to that mom!
After Mass and lunch, I returned to my room and laid down. Listening to the birds chirp outside and enjoying the breeze coming through the window, I centered myself. I didn’t sleep but kept my eyes closed. I prayed for the intentions of my family and friends and reflected on all of God’s blessings. Before I knew it, it was time to leave. Oh, how I would have loved to stay a while longer, but there are other Days of Quiet scheduled down the road.
John Lubbock was right -- my quiet day was not a waste of time. I was able to put life’s worries and stress into proper perspective, thus allowing me to reenter a chaotic world refreshed in mind and spirit.