Monday, April 30, 2007

West Cornwall, CT

Once upon a time there was a little 21-25 year olds retreat in West Cornwall, CT. And in this little fairy tale of a story, a group of zaney recent grads decided to make the retreat their very own personal adventure... Let's recap.

Ok, so there was a retreat last weekend. And we all decided it would be a great opportunity to leave the city and basically play all weekend with our friends. So, on a retreat of 60 people, I would approximate that 20 of them were my friends. Quite possibly my idea of an amazing weekend.
I didn't really know where WC, CT was, and really, I still don't, cause quite frankly, it's in the middle of friggin nowheresville. But 2.5 hours on a bus later, and we were there. Trinity Conference Center. In the boondoggles of CT with no cell phone service and just a nice little lodge along a river to house us for the weekend.

And so in college "retreats," should really have been called "structured fun" 24/7, because there was ALWAYS something planned. Not so in the real world. When you live in NYC with millions of people and millions of THINGS to do all day every day, nothing sounds better than a weekend of absolute nothingness. And that is about what we did.
The weather was 75 and sunny, the food was gourmet, yes, you read that right, gourmet food on a retreat. No lie, it was unreal. We're talking spinach with feta, strawberries and candied walnut salad for lunch as just one of the 10 options kind of gourmet. Mmmmm.
The theme for the weekend talks was "reading the Bible creatively" and the talks we had were informative and interesting. Other than that we were basically outside from 9am onwards, throwing the football, playing ultimate frisbee, tennis, soccer, and anything else our little hearts desired.

Saturday night after the evening game of Malarky a group of us went outside and sat around while Binder played his guitar, we sang classic 90s songs and smoked some rockin Cuban cigars. Basically I love my friends.

The weekend was glorious because I realized that for a solid 36 hours my life was simple. No cell phone, no email, no "to do" list, nothing. No flurry of thoughts or anxieties that perpetually define my days- no subways, just nature. Just me, my friends, and pure simple love and fun and laughter and worship. I kind of think heaven will be like that but just 10 times better than I could imagine.

I will close with a little vignette of the run we did on Saturday. So, Em, Xan, Meg, Gretch and I decided to go on a run on this "trail" that supposedly "went out 5 miles along the river." Only it was basically an off roading kind of adventure that involved more off-trail than on the trail due to huge amounts of water and mud and the like. Ok, ok, ok... we kept at it because we thought it might get better. Oh but no. And then it just ended. Like after less than 2 miles. Special.
So, with no other choice we turned around. Now, Emily is not such a fan of nature. I mean, to be removed from nature and viewing it from afar- totally cool. But not so much knee-deep IN nature. Gretch is not so much a fan of not being able to do her long run the week before a half marathon. Meg is not so much a fan of stop-and-go running. And I just laughed for most of the run.

But as we're coming back, we have to go around a particularly large water pit, and all of a sudden I hear Meg scream. Loud. And so we all stop and look to where she's looking and what do we see but a full, very large, skeleton. Now, skeletons are all fine and dandy when they're say, in anatomy class, but when you happen upon one in the forrest it's a little less than exciting. I think it was a deer, but really, my expertise of skeletons isn't so refined that I could be entirely certain of that. So, naturally, Meg turns in the opposite direction and runs a few feet, only to stop dead in her tracks again, starting straight down at the fur of said skeleton. I'm sorry, but this is laugh out loud funny for me at this point, and I about double over in laughter. Sick, sick sense of humor, I know. And at this point, Emily is BLAZING a trail to get out of those woods as fast as humanly possible. Ah nature. Sometimes a little bit goes a long long way. Adventures abounded in West Cornwall, and I will cherish those memories for many moons to come. We didn't take any pictures, except for one on the way there of Sorem and DRod on the bus. We now affectionately call them Big Bear and Little Bear. Aww.

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