A winter retreat amidst the changes and chances of this life

For more years than I can recall I’ve traveled to northern New Mexico in the winter. Living in Houston for most of my life, I ached to see the changing of the seasons. The trips to New Mexico were originally during Advent, and they were full of serious preparing for Christmas which always included music and shopping and card making.

Over time, the trips changed. They moved from the season of Advent to Epiphany, and they became less of a vacation and more of a beginning of the year retreat.

I wasn’t able to travel to New Mexico last year due to the you know what so being back in Taos at the beginning of Epiphany, I am remembering why this annual retreat is important to my spiritual rhythm.

In harmony with my less young body, the days are slower, the walks are gentler, and I spend more time gazing and pondering.

My spiritual self is feeling a little frayed right now, and this retreat is a place for me to do some spiritual mending.

The prayer that continues to cycle into my heart is from Compline, the office that always comforts my soul.

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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