05 Aug 2012 / by Annetta Sutton
I presented a retreat on Codependency in July at our Dan Anderson Retreat and Lodge. Spending time reflecting on how we manage our lives. A large group of seekers found the gift of living a life in recovery by finding their spirit.
My summer reading included Swallow the Ocean by Laura M. Flynn. A remarkable memoir. I highly recommend it, as too, Blind Your Ponies by Gordon Stanley West, Broken by William Cope Moyers and When Love is Not Enough by William C. Borchert. All favorite books I reread in summer’s leisure.
I had the opportunity to reconnect with people from my hometown and reflect on how that small town affected my life. It made me think of a trip my children and I made to Elizabeth Island, a rare historic place trailing off Cape Cod. During our exploring, we found sea glass. I think about how the glass imitates a small town. Over time, the elements scar the glass and destroy the original usefulness. However, damaged it is not totally destroyed. If you pick it up and shield it, you find a rare beauty. In my hometown, the gossip continues to permeate. They shared with me the denial and blame. Common to a small town. Joys and tragedies continue, most of them alcohol related. Yet in the scaring and human elements, you find the beauty of every living being in the community. It is some of the premise of my book. In addition, Kathleen Norris’s Dakota fits well in the discussion.
Life transitions continue like the seasonal cycles. My oldest grandson will begin high school at Saint Thomas Academy and Maia Elizabeth; the third granddaughter will begin kindergarten at Saint Pete’s. The eight of them bring immeasurable joy to me and to anyone they meet.
In Anam Cara one of my favorite book of prayers, John O’Donohue writes about the center of compassion. In the daily journey with those suffering from addiction, compassionate listening fills my day as I listen to the courage it takes to address the pain and their responsibility in it. God’s healing grace personified. One of my favorite quotes; “To ‘listen’ to another soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another.”