There are large leafy grounds here in Glanaulin and it is lovely to look out the window at this time of year and see the trees clothing themselves in autumnal hues, before shedding their leaves. With so many trees around the place, we often see squirrels running up the tree trunks, but at this time of year, they are often to be found on the ground around the trees, gathering up all the fallen fruits and seeds and burying them in secret hiding places to sustain them through the long winter months. Sometimes the squirrels bury more fruit than they need and that which they do not dig up, sprouts and grows into trees and bushes.
When we come on Retreat, we may not realise it, but we, like the squirrels, are gathering up and storing away the fruits of the Retreat experience. We may not dig up the fruits of our Retreat day for a long time, but they are there, stored and ready to sustain us through the difficulties we might face in our lives. Sometimes, those little seeds of faith buried on that one day can sprout and grow into big trees of faith. Some word, or thought or line of Scripture that touched us on our Retreat day might come back to us just when we need it.
Turns out, squirrels can teach us a lot about Retreats!
But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of every human being.