Monday, September 11, 2006

not enough containers (or 'someone's gotta do it')

Frank and I have just returned from a wonderful weekend away!

We have an arrangement that every few months we will make time to relax together, taking it in turns to organise the whole event. We've had two romantic escapes now - I organised a weekend in Cygnet in May, while Frank was in charge of arranging this weekend. For weeks he's been playing "pick the destination" games, always finishing by informing me we were going camping on the South West Coast. I was fairly confident he was leading me down a garden path but I couldn't quite pick where we would end up - it could have been any one of hundreds of delightful Tassie locations!

And did he ever blow me away! We ended up staying at Piermont Retreat, just south of Swansea. It was breathtaking. Truly breathtaking! The whole weekend was a gift.

We stayed in a seaside spa cottage with a 'neutral magnetic field' designed to encourage rest (it seemed to work for us anyway!). The cottage was delightful - polished wooden floors, open fireplace, leather lounge suite, cathedral ceilings, dishwasher, enormous spa. Sound heavenly? That's just the cottage, wait until you hear the rest!

Step outside and there was the beach just 100 metres away. Delightful sand, fascinating shells, smooth stones, delicate pinky mauve seaweed (plus plenty of ugly bull kelp), pretty pink flowers. On Saturday we walked along the beach in the wind and showery rain, drinking in the beauty - there we were, right on nature's doorstep. Bliss.

But wait, there's more!

The beach opened out onto Great Oyster Bay, which lies between Swansea and Freycinet National Park. On the other side of the Bay were the Hazards, an enormous outcrop of granite rock (visible in the first two photos). They hovered on the horizon, sometimes lost in the mist of sea rain, and sometimes so clear it seemed we could almost reach out and touch them. As the sun moved across the sky, and the clouds came and went, we saw the Hazards dressed in their many moods. Our favourite was when a rainbow draped itself across the mountain.

Just when we felt our hearts could not hold any more happiness and delight, the seagulls came out to play! These gulls were enormous, and each dusk they came out to engage in an evening feeding frenzy. They would soar over the water, rise slightly and then plunge into the waves to collect their dinner. Over and over scores of birds dive bombed into the water one after the other, with the Hazards providing a stunning backdrop. It was incredible, and I just stood amazed while time stood still.

On Saturday morning I was reading Romans 5 in The Message and I found this (v3-5):
We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary - we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit. (emphasis added)
That's how I felt this weekend - life isn't perfect, but here was a moment full of so much joy and pleasure that I can't round up enough containers to hold it all! Tiny flowers in the grass, anemones in the rock pools, graceful water birds rising above the water, loving husband who spoiled me... words cannot capture how beautiful this weekend has been. I am in awe that God would pour out so much blessing on me. What a wonderful, restoring, inspiring weekend.

Thankyou God (and thankyou Frank! You scored big time!)


At 1:53 pm, September 13, 2006, Blogger Robyn said...

It just looks gorgeous! Hey you need to send me the link to your work blog still :)


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