Have you ever longed for a real get-away, by yourself, for a few days or even weeks? Of course you have. There’s that siren call of chucking every obligation in our hectic lives, just
Respite on Hell’s Half Acre, off the coast of Maine
walking away from every loathsome chore. We deserve a little freedom from the burdens of life. We fantasize that if we do, we’ll be rewarded with peace and restoration. We seek sufficient sleep.
But when people give in to this call, what do they do next? They get out the credit card and book themselves into a holiday they can barely afford, and pack it full of ‘experiences.’ They call it a ‘get-away’ and yet, they don’t get away from much of anything, and when they come home, they’re exhausted and feel further behind.
But not these two people. One is my new friend, Greg Richardson; the other is a friend of his, Peg Gillard. In blog posts earlier this month, they each shared what it really means to take a break, to restore oneself.
Peg is a middle school teacher. Every year Peg takes a pilgrimage, a solo ride on her Harley, where she gets away from others, lives simply, and spends time in thought.
Greg is a leadership coach and spiritual adviser. He is also a lay oblate, a person who lives outside the monastery and lives by the monastic rule of life. At least once a year he spends a few days at his monastery in silence and rest.
Here’s what I noticed in reading about their experiences.
- They do this regularly, not as a one-time experience.
- They are alone, but not isolated.
- They are alone with their thoughts, not immersed in distractions.
- They leave much of man-made life and go to a nature-made life.
- They live with fewer of the comforts of home, not more of them.
- They learn from introspection and quietness.
- They find peace.
- They feel restored.
- They come home renewed.
Then tell me, what kind of get-away trip do you want to take?