As a Christmas gift this year, my husband sent me away.
I mean that in the best sense: Aware that I could use a solid chunk of quiet and solitude (that’s a euphemism for “escaping the children”), my husband did some research and booked me a two-night stay at St. Joseph’s Dwelling Place, a retreat center just outside of Ludlow, Vermont.
St. Joseph’s Dwelling Place offers both guided and unguided retreat options. I chose the unguided option, which meant I had a comfortable room all to myself in a large, quiet house set on six acres at the foot of Okemo Mountain. There was only one other guest at the house the weekend I was there, and I never saw her. I read (E. B. White’s book of essays about Maine, One Man’s Meat, which was excellent company), I wrote, I took two cross-country ski jaunts, and I luxuriated in the peace and quiet.
But this is not about my time in the retreat center, restorative as it was; this is about what happened when I left the retreat center.