Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kerry Park

I wrote this on Monday morning, but life has been crazy and I haven't had time to actually post it, so here you are:

Last night I went to Kerry Park. I was happily exhausted after a long weekend at the Life Together retreat (more about that in a bit) but I had caught glimpses of Mt. Rainier (aka The Mountain) and I knew that with the sunset and the not-quite-full moon, it would be the perfect night to sit and gaze out at the beauty of Seattle. Kerry Park has always been one of my favorite places and views, and last night it did not disappoint. While there were more people around than I usually prefer, the view was spectacular: the sun glinting off the skyscrapers, the mountain in the distance, the hazy purple-blue sky. I only wish I had my camera.

I used to walk to Kerry Park when I was in college. I loved living on campus in Queen Anne- it is close to the heart of the city, with beautiful homes and tree-lined streets all around. Despite the busy life of Seattle being so close, I always felt peace when I went walking through the neighborhoods. Kerry Park is one my "thin places"-a Celtic term for places where we feel the closest to God. These are the places where it seems easiest for me to pray: a favorite quiet corner of campus, at the beach, and Kerry Park.

After this weekend, I think we can add Cascades Covenant Camp to the list. I was so glad that we scheduled quiet times into our retreat along with the worship, teaching, discussion, and play. I took a nice walk Saturday morning after breakfast and stopped a couple of times to journal, pray, and even sing a little (one of the best things about walking by yourself in the woods is singing to yourself. You can't do that on the bus or walking down the streets of downtown Seattle). It was refreshing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

The whole weekend was really a breath of fresh air. After spending weeks and months planning and stressing over the weekend, it was such a relief and a blessing to have it go so well. Despite arriving late (and starting a couple of hours after our scheduled time) I was hit by such a feeling of joy and excitement when the cars started to arrive and my friends and fellow Questers started to scramble out. There were people I knew well and people I had barely met, and while I didn't become best friends with every single person (that would have been impossible) by the end of the weekend I had experienced amazing fellowship and participated in some incredible conversations.

Of course, when we came back, life went right back to busy, as I tried to squeeze in some Father's Day time with my dad before dashing off to catch the end of church and hang out with people on Linda's last Sunday at Quest (at least for awhile). I'm hoping to spend some more time journaling and reflecting on the retreat and the teaching from Dr. Spencer (look for more blog entries to follow). But I am glad that I took a few minutes, even in my tiredness, to sit at Kerry Park and watch the sun reflect off the city and appreciate the beauty of the mountain.

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