What does a religious experience feel like? This afternoon began with a massage that helped me let go of stress and tension. A walk in the woods followed...alone, but accompanied by my new friends the chipmunks, moths, spiders, and mosquitoes. The rocky path led me through green shadows and cool breezes to God. I found St. Francis meditating by the gazebo. After visiting with him awhile, I continued and discovered the mysteries of the rosary punctuated the walk, each with a trellis and benches. The downhill journey resumed and each step brought me closer to a dream come true. Standing alone in the middle of nature...a chapel. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I entered. This is how I've always wanted to pray. And pray I did. Kneeling, sitting, crying, asking, thanking, talking...praying.
It doesn't get better than this.
I felt like I was seven, exploring the woods for the first time. Each stone led me to a new discovery, a new feeling, a new place. The outdoor theater hosted a waterfall with Mary and her son, Baby Jesus, looking on. We watched the water together. The return hike was uphill, and the humid air captured my breath every chance it got. This required more stops on the way home. I sat in the Trellis of the Anunciation. Wrote, sipped, breathed, walking again to the gazebo. There I watched a orange headed spider search for a way into the screened haven. Finally, to my temporary home at the Appalachian Lodge. Here, I am alone. My friends are outside the door.
Here I sit, writing about them.