Retreat, Sabbatical, Escape

“In order to understand the world,
one has to turn away from it on occasion.”

Albert Camus,

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

“By God, I shall spend the rest of my life getting my heart back, healing and forgetting every scar you put upon me when I was a child. The first move I ever made, after the cradle, was to crawl for the door, and every move I have made since has been an effort to escape.”
― Thomas Wolfe

(bags ready to go / Julie Cook / 2015)

It was this time last year when a plan was hatched.
It was the birth of a thought.
A “what if” sort of conversation.
Curious as to what may be found, three willing travelers were more than ready to journey to the land of great grandparents. . .
A grand adventure was set in motion. . .

Then the world fell apart.

Well not the big World, but rather the little world of family and self.

Practicalities began screaming “NO”
Mr Mole and Mrs Loon became impossible.
Caregivers continued threatening to leave as anger, resentment and failing bodies and minds wrecked havoc on the one versed with the overall wellbeing of everyone involved.

Backing out was too late.
It was a “go” whether or not the surrounding circumstances were in compliance.

So after a year of planning, then frustratingly dreading, the day of departure has arrived.

I’m heading out of pocket for about two weeks.
I leave behind Dad and Gloria who are not in good places right now.
Caregivers who have told me they may not be in place upon my return.
A husband who can’t leave his business.
A son and daughter-n-law who are now scarily “in charge”
A cat who appears to have broken a leg. . .
You name it, there are 100 reasons as to why I need to stay. . .
Yet I’m too far in to back out now, and my two traveling companions would be up the proverbial creek if I did. . .
You never know what will happen during the course of a year as you wait for a “big” event.

What started out as an exciting trip, has now morphed into, more or less, a cross between a sabbatical and a retreat.
Certainly no one is paying for me to go, no one but myself, yet I think my heart and mind both desperately need for me to go.
Things have been really bad on the Atlanta front as of late.
Actually almost impossible.
Enough to make me sick of both heart and health.

Getting away, far away, may be best for a while.
Unplugging, unwinding and simply allowing God to direct my path.
This is a pilgrimage of sorts to the Celtic roots of my life.

I’m not taking my computer.
Of course I’ve got both phone and iPad
Emailing and texting as time allows.
I doubt I’ll blog.
I just want to empty my thoughts for a while, allowing room for God to move in closer.
Dad and Gloria have almost pushed me over the edge.
I’m hoping with me not there 24 / 7, it’ll actually calm them down for a while.
We’ll see. . .

So until we are together again, in about 2 weeks. . .

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

27 comments on “Retreat, Sabbatical, Escape

  1. David says:

    Julie I pray that (whatever the weather) you will have a blessed and relaxing time. David

  2. phyllissnipes says:

    Yes, Julie!!! GO! And may God grant you a peace beyond understanding!!! Love you much!

  3. Lynda says:

    Julie, blessings and prayers for you and your companions. Remember that everyone is in God’s tender loving care. You have done all that you can for the moment. 🙂

  4. SM Gerard says:

    You have had the courage to make the first step, now leave it up to God to plan the rest of your time away … He, also has been waiting to get in touch with you … blessings!

  5. Praying you have a safe and refreshing journey. When we seek only His face, He is always faithful to show up. 😉 Find your peace. Find your Centre. He will be there.
    (Ps. I’m so glad I saw this tonight! I was actually coming to share with you an “assignment” I had from Blogging U 201 – about blog “auditing” – but will share this later. I see now He sent me this way to pray! 😉 )

  6. This made me tear up several times for several reasons. I’m so glad you couldn’t and didn’t back out. You NEEDED to get away missy. Who knows maybe Mr. Mole and Mrs. Loon will even be more apprecative when you get back. So enjoy, enjoy, enjoy and think not of anything but what lies ahead.
    You will bring back amazing tales to tell, when you again pick up your pen and paper as it were. I can’t wait and will miss you terribly, but I hope and pray you have a marvelous time without worrying about home and your peeps. All will be well until you return. Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤

    • Lynda says:

      Natalie, what a lovely note to Julie! I love your reference to “Mr. Mole and Mrs. Loon” – provides perspective and some humour!

    • Natalie– you always know how to touch my heart– thank you—we are here and exhausted but haven’t stopped yet at 30hrs and counting 😳 love to you!!
      Travlin cookie

      • Top of the mornin’ to ya! Oh yes, that trip over is brutal. By the time we got to Paris that first day, we’d been going for nearly 48 hours since neither of us can sleep on the plane. So we checked into the hotel, walked down towards the Eiffel tower and had dinner, then walked by back the Seine to the hotel and crashed. Do take it easy this first day, and then you can dance all the Irish jigs you want. Much love to you too! Natalie 🙂 ❤

  7. Jenna Dee says:

    Go Julie and don’t turn back no matter what. You owe this trip to yourself. Enjoy, relax and recharge. Love to you from Jenna

    • Thanks Jenna — Ireland is indeed proving to be a balm— I’m not even posting or reading the blogs– the Irish salve truly– I hope you’re having a grand time– like you, we’ve been in and out of rain but it hasn’t slowed us down! You need to put Ireland on your to do list— safe travels Jenna— Irish hugs— julie

  8. ColorStorm says:

    …and may the road rise up to greetcha…………

    Happy trails jewels.

  9. Wally Fry says:

    You need the time Julie. You and God

  10. Nicodemas says:

    Wishing you all the best Julie! I think you’re right, your not being there might actually be good for them. Wishing you peace and many good blessings.

  11. Melissa says:

    Love you, you need this. I am going on a weekend women’s retreat next weekend. I don’t want to go, leaving craziness behind too but I know I need it.

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