I jumped in the car anticipating the freedom of this weekend. YES!!! Finally it’s Friday!
Man, I can’t wait to go out with my friends tonight, maybe my boyfriend tomorrow night, lunch with the gang at the local “Chef-o-nette” diner on Saturday. At last I will be able to unwind and have a good time. Two nights is never enough.
“Twins, you have your confirmation retreat this weekend. Aren’t you excited?!”
My mother interrupted my thoughts and dashed my vision of a wonderful weekend. I was filled with a deep sensation of dread. I absolutely hated my confirmation class. I was given homework. Like I didn’t get enough homework at school! Everyone but me would have at least one close friend at the retreat but me, creating a big “in crowd” and leaving me as the “out crowd”. I just knew I’d spend the whole weekend by myself, especially since the idea of spending a whole weekend with these people made me shudder. Secretly my mind screamed NOOO!!!! I was certain this would be the weekend from Hell!
After an hour-long bus ride we arrived at the cabin in Yellow Springs, Ohio where we would be staying for the next two evenings. What a dump. Well, I guess it wasn’t that bad. We had two big rooms, one for the girls and one for the guys, three working restrooms, a lounge, and a kitchen.
At least it was spacious. After exploring the woods around the cabin at free time, a session in the lounge, and a surprisingly good dinner that we made on our own, I was ready for bed. It was only around 9:30, but I figured the more sleep I got the less time it would feel like I was there. I looked around me to say goodnight to anyone who might have glimpsed me crawling into my small, gritty sleeping bag, but everyone appeared to be flirting with each other, leaving me unobserved. The sight of my thirty fellow confirmands throwing themselves at one another while on a church retreat made me ill, leaving me with an unpleasant feeling well into the night.
I awoke to whispers being spoken softly from one invisible person to another as I drifted
into consciousness. Tomorrow I’ll be on my way home. These two days will just be a drop of water in the pool of time. I tried to console myself. The day was to be spent at the gorge. I mildly desired to see what a gorge was as I had no idea. I also heard we were to hike around, which I love to do, so I started looking forward to the day. I was surprised to get the subtle feelings of wanting to be in this place away from all my comforts. I grabbed my camera and headed towards the door… towards the gorge… and unbeknownst to myself, towards a new perspective on life.
The sky was clear and the atmosphere was joyous. Beautiful trees and the calm sound of
rushing water from the nearby stream encircled me. The air was filled with the smell of autumn leaves and a cold chill. I was overwhelmed by the beauty before me. Stop. Listen. The birds were serenading one another as the wind stroked the dry leaves still clinging to their...