Wilma Davidson, Canberra Regional Meeting

This was my tenth year visiting The Cliffs Retreat Centre in Shoreham, Mornington Peninsula staying in silence and alone in my little hermitage.

This year has been a bit different.  I intended going for 5 weeks, however I left Shoreham on the third day – by ambulance.  I slipped on the wet rocks and smashed my left (dominant) shoulder on the cliff. Frankston Hospital, transfer by air to The Canberra Hospital and surgery resulting in my now having a replacement shoulder.

I was home late February, in time for the Corona virus lock down. In the first few weeks I had carers and friends come every day to assist me as I healed and as I needed less care, more friends isolated themselves.

What this time is doing mainly for me is confirming my journey to a more contemplative life.  My Tuesday silent days are precious and it is a joy to wake up each day to see the gradual changes to the leaves in the tree outside my window and see how the king parrots blend in with change in the colour of the leaves.

I still have friends help me with what I can’t yet do and take me for walks in beautiful places, however I do walk alone each day and marvel at what there is to see within a few metres of home.

I do feel overwhelmed by the number of Zoom meetings each day, yet find the several MfW I attend in the week are often gathered meetings. Sharing the silence with Friends all over the world in the warmth of one’s home is such a gift.

There is a Facebook page called the kindness page and this has made me be aware of little kindnesses that arrive at my doorstep: the young delivery man bringing my box of fruit and veggies right into the kitchen, the friend who chops the still too difficult for me to manage, the Friend who facilitated a silent retreat day on the theme of gratitude, with us meeting at the beginning and the end of the day by zoom and us having the time in-between to reflect on gratitude in our own way, and the Friends that send quotes and writings that are gifts of and for the spirit.

Having said all this about the blessings of the lock down I do look forward to meeting with my Spiritual Nurture group face to face next week and also, joy of joys, meeting with my book group in the flesh again!

In this time of both recovery and isolation I have thought a lot about this very different year.  I do believe things happen for a reason and have been pondering on the learnings spiritually, physically and mentally that I am experiencing now.  During my annual times in silent retreat at Shoreham I’ve been led to think about love and gifts and gratitude and the importance of being in the present, and for some years now I have been working on learning to receive – which I find much more difficult than to give.  I have been getting better at this and being in the position I’m in now I ‘m made aware of the love and gifts I’m experiencing constantly.

Every experience is a gift and this experience will no doubt lead me forward in love and grace.





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