I haven’t forgotten, I just blacked out for a week or two or three. Now I’m back and we won’t speak of the fact that university classes haves started again and I am knee deep in the graduating class of 2015, which happens sounds like a made up year out of a science fiction novel.
Day 2 was a little more angsty than day 1 but still good. I got out of bed feeling out of sorts. I knew I’d be going home but I didn’t want that to distract me from being intentional about the morning I still had ahead of me. I opted to skip breakfast, the $11 hotel buffet option was not in the budget. It seems cheesy but I did exercise in my room, after a day of being quiet and still, I felt the need to pump it up some. Then I had coffee and returned to finish to Alter in the World.
Starting day 2 I was worried I wouldn’t know if I was really finishing well or just quitting so I could get home. I didn’t have to worry about that. In the same way day 1 progressed without much planning from me, day 2 was the same. The conclusion of the book talked about blessings, specifically a benediction. She described it as “it comes at the end of something, to send people on their way.”
She recounted the story of her father’s last days before dying. He’d fought a losing battle with illness and the family was gathered to watch, wait and pray with him. The author’s husband and father had developed a close relationship and as they sat in the hospital room, waiting, her husband goes over to his bed and they have an close and intimate exchange, whispering back to one another. When her husbands returns to her side she asks what that was all about and he explains he’s asked her father for his blessing.
Maybe it was the skill of the story teller, or the gut-wrenching nature of the situation or the softness I was feeling being on retreat but that story brought me to tears and at the same time, I knew that was the end of my time. My benediction came in the knowing that anyone can give a blessing. The only authorization needed is the request of the seeker.