Anticipating Silence

By Lauren Gustafson

Tomorrow we fly up to Boston for our silent retreat at The Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE). The word “silent” has been looming over our heads, it’s hovering in the moments we sit together quietly and the moments of loudness. Many of us are loud, some of us are quieter but none of us are apt to silence. There have been many conversations discussing what this will entail but personally, I’m cautiously optimistic.

March transitioning into April is a hard time of year for me, it’s associated with loss, which seems appropriate since Easter almost always falls in April. There’s no resurrection at the end of my stories and coming to terms with that every year as we hear about Jesus rising again slits open a poorly healed wound.

I’ve never been on a silent retreat. I’ve never been to SSJE and I can’t say for certain what will come of this experience for me. As someone who is loud and energetic but quiet and reserved it will be an adventure to see which of my many sides benefits from this retreat. I enjoy making my own way and doing my own thing, constantly striving for more independence and beyond the structured worship schedule, this retreat seems to foster growth and even independence.

The weather will be mildly cold (except in the mornings) and mixtures of rain and snow are anticipated. I’ve loaded my Kindle with books from my reading list. I’ve packed sturdy shoes because I anticipate spending as much time outside as possible. I’m excited about the flight, I love flying…sitting at the window watching the clouds and the landscape change.

I’m apprehensive about arriving and transitioning into silence and I’m apprehensive about all of the unknowns but with all the doubt, I’ve found a glimmer of excitement.


Image from SSJE


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