Wilderness retreat 2016, Lunga…

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Last weekend saw us away out into the western sea once more, searching for a place to rest and find some big sky to shelter beneath. This year we headed to Lunga- a first for all of us. (There are two Lunga’s- we went to the less famous one, next to Scarba in the inner Hebrides.)

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What shall I say about last weekend? These things spring to mind;

  • My son Will came this time- it is hard to describe how lovely it is to adventure with your son and share with him the tradition of the island
  • We had lovely sunshine
  • We had a force 8 gale
  • it is impossible to sleep in a tent during a force 8 gale
  • Mark and Barry are rather astonishing chefs, cooking the poshest food on an open fire and in a home made oven
  • Andy has too many gadgets, but having said that, he puts them to brilliant use
  • Phil suffered most (collapsed tent, explosive digestive tract) but bore it all with a smile and good humour. Deep respect
  • Graham somehow combines deep suspicion of all things wild with a child like wonder for the same. His constant flow of puns and bad jokes are a phenomenon to behold
  • Tigger had more space to bounce in this year and still had energy left to look after everyone else. If there is ever a disaster zone that needs to be sorted, parachute him in
  • Paul made best use of the silence and isolation, but still managed to contribute richly to the gathering too
  • Crawford knows each animal by name- he speaks to them and they listen
  • Neil is the smartest man I know, but also the most selfless and lovely. He carves a mean spoon

 

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What a lovely bunch of blokes to spend time with. All of them are either long term friends or becoming so- and although there were others whose presence was missed, the chance to linger in conversation that varied from deepest secrets to the pleasure all men make out of crude toilet humour was exactly what I needed.

Thanks to you who traveled with me- I am truly grateful.

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As part of our fireside discussions this year I used the idea of Anam Cara, or ‘Soul Friendship’ in which we take time to share something of our spiritual journey, or what meaning we are currently finding. Our faith perspectives varied from professionals of the cloth, to those who have lost faith all together in the existence of God. I would have it no other way- the point of these trips for me is not to convince or convert, but to provide an open space for encounter, with your deep self and with that rich, half percieved transcendent other, whatever language you use to make sense of this.

The Anam Cara Questions we used are as follows;

  1. How is your soul?
  • What is draining your soul lately?
  • What is feeding your soul lately?
  1. How and where have you felt the presence of God?
  2. What has been your spiritual high point? Low Point?
  3. How have you been able to serve the elderly, the poor, the young, the needy, the rejected?
  4. What challenges are you facing in these coming days?

Andy ‘six cameras’ Prosser made this lovely video that tells the story of the weekend rather better than me;

2 thoughts on “Wilderness retreat 2016, Lunga…

  1. Pingback: Aoradh Wilderness Trip 2017- anyone fancy coming along? | this fragile tent

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