Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Holy Cross Monastery- Arrival

My journey to the monastery today began with dropping off a load of cardboard boxes to the Allentown recycling center. Yesterday , in a burst of energy, I decided to clean out all those boxes from my garage, loading them into my van, intending to take them that afternoon. Only I forgot, until, that is, I began to put my suitcase into the car for my trip. The thought of listening to those boxes floating around in the back while on a three hour journey didn't appeal to me, thus the unexpected first stop in Allentown.

Feeling lighter with the boxes gone I looked forward to getting on I78 and making my way north. I had printed my directions from mapquest (I do have a GPS, but I don't like to use it). I was listening to Styx greatest hits, fondly recalling how my husband Terry shared their music with me way back in 1980. Good music, good memories.

Everything was going along as I recalled from my first trip to the Monastery back in April, until I came to a place where nothing looked familiar. At first I assumed it was my poor memory, but once I got to the final destination as indicated on the directions I knew something was wrong. So having only a tracfone while every other person in my house has iphones with 3g service, I called home. I was on the correct road but about 11 miles south.

So what do I do then? Instead of going north on said road I went south........and after doubling back from where I had just come, I knew, yet again, I was not anywhere near my destination. I happened to see a local courthouse so I stopped in to ask for help. One of the security guards was kind enough to look up the Monastery's address on their computer, and about 45 minutes later, traversing for the third time that same road- known as 9W-I got to Holy Cross. Yeah!

This lovely place sits down a hill, yet is on top of a hill itself, and from its perch the lawn slopes downward to eventually reach the very wide Hudson River. The main building is victorian in structure- I think, not being an expert in period architecture. It is huge yet quaint, and honestly, the minute I reached the entrance to the driveway I felt peace, something I find to be almost tangible in a way here that I could grab it with my hands. I love that, and knew I needed it for a few days to get to work on a writing project that has been in my heart for years.

I met up with Joan Ball, my friend and fellow writer, in the library, which happens to be the only place here with WiFi. Joan is leading this retreat, as she did the one I first attended back in April 2011. She has a published memoir, "Flirting with Faith" that I would highly recommend reading. It's her story of moving from aethiesm to full blown christianity.

After we hugged each other Joan asked "Are you here to write or retreat or both?" Without thinking I responded, "At the last retreat I did not come to write. But this time, I came to write."

So here I am, at 9:39pm (I am typically in my pajamas at this time, nodding off in my favorite chair!) writing this post; after meeting with Joan and four other sweet people who desire to write; after reworking several pages of my once dormant novel into my new storyist app on my ipad; after taking a walk down to the river to take photos to clear my head after a confusing drive!

I will not be posting photos as I usually do, as I have not figured out (yet!) how to do so with my ipad. Terry downloaded an app ( there's one for just about anything, I'm finding) to his ipad but I have yet to transfer it to mine. So my words will be picture enough, I hope. I look forward to sharing a bit about my time here each evening, which will include tonight, Wednesday night, and Thursday night. I return home Friday.

I came here to write, so I will.


Kendralee* said...

ahh so many thoughts and emotions! one year ago... wow.


and i can't wait to read. :)

Rebekah Zanders said...

No guilt.
No censorship.
No perfectionism.
Just write!
And be free...