Well I’ve just got back from a week on retreat in the French Alps followed by a week on holiday with Angie (sans enfants!). Some wonderful friends very kindly lent us their fabulous apartment.
There is something about mountains that seems to work for me on retreat. Maybe its the stillness the lack of hustle and bustle; maybe the change in scenery. It is interesting how often mountains come up in the bible. Moses goes up a mountain to receive the 10 commandments, Elijah has a major experience of God on a mountain with the “gentle whisper”, mountains figure with Jesus lots – to pray, the transfiguration, the ascension etc.
It was a great experience to be able to go up a mountain and hardly see anyone – and no-one at all if you went off the paths and just wandered. When I’m on retreat I just love not having others around and so I find retreat places such as monasteries just too busy! On retreat I’m more of the Hermit type. It allows me to totally shut off and take time to read and pray and think without being distracted. Some good books, stillness and great mountain walks – a perfect combination!
I’ve got a couple of other posts to do to finish off the 7 churches trip which I hope to do over the next couple of days. Then in June I’m travelling round England to visit some projects.