Oregon Coast Retreat

We’ve been waking up to jewel covered grass which the sun slowly dries after it clears the horizon these freezing mornings. The woodstove has been burning through wood like it’s deep winter but it’s still officially autumn for another three weeks. This is a good time for looking back at the restful, renewing weekend the end of September.

The Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends held a woman’s retreat at Twin Rocks Camp starting on Thursday evening. I’m usually not a big fan of large gatherings and retreats but sorely felt the need to get away from home/business. After packing up and mailing the last order for the day I drove for two hours heading west and north across Willamette Valley and along the windy road cutting up across the coast range. The narrow road following the small winding creek didn’t have much traffic; just lots of beauty. Arriving at the camp shortly before dinner I checked in and was told that my cabin mates weren’t arriving until the next day. A whole cabin to myself: time alone!

The rain during the night had left tattered early morning clouds. A double rainbow arched across the path on the way to breakfast Friday morning. Double Rainbow

Being served three meals a day without a thought of grocery shopping, menu planning, cleanup is pure luxury. Top that with delicious, wholesome food prepared by a gourmet chef, mmm. That alone made the weekend special.

The meetings were heart-stirring and soul renewing. We had some amazing prayer times and each day an hour was scheduled for silent solitude with participants encouraged to spend the time climbing the mountain east of the camp, or beach walking.

Twin Rocks at Rockaway, Oregon
Twin Rocks

Sand Prints

By the time I turned back a storm was brewing, slowly moving in bringing drenching rains and howling winds that evening.Twin Rocks Storm

Last Friday a neighbor friend had surgery so I’ve been knitting a prayer shawl for her. This is the first shawl I’ve knit, and it’s my first experience with lace – other than a nine stitch lace pattern I used on my silk fingerless gloves last year. Now I know why people get into lace knitting. The patterns and rhythm have a way of getting into the brain. Though I have to pay strict attention, I find that it is also conducive to praying. The past two weeks I’ve been rather absent from the internet for the most part, but the time spent knitting and in prayer has been very good.

Spring Lace Shawl
Spring Lace Shawl

(I can hardly wait to dive into one of Knitspot‘s shawls, now that I’m not so terrified of lace knitting.)

I have started another prayer shawl; this one a simple wrap made with hairpin lace for a friend in need of lots of prayer and comfort.

The violin has been taken out of its summer hiatus and is preparing for a Four Violin gig for the Silverton Zenith women’s Christmas gathering on Dec 13th with pieces by Telemann and Vivaldi, followed by the Friends’ community Acoustic Christmas gathering on the 15th comprising of over 50 different Christmas songs of all types.


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

13 thoughts on “Oregon Coast Retreat”

  1. Looks like a gorgeous place for a retreat, the photos of the twin rocks are beautiful, book me a place next time! Love the yarn in the spring lace shawl,

  2. Oh, how I miss the Oregon coast. I’m glad that you were able to get away, to ponder and pray and meditate, and to enjoy God’s handiwork.

    I agree that lace is mesmerizing and addictive; I have not yet reached the point where my prayers while I knit go any deeper or higher than, “Oh please help me not to mess this up!”

    The spring lace shawl is beautiful: the colors echo those in your photos of the coast and do not overwhelm the pattern.

    This is the year that I got over my own fear of lace knitting, and after I knit Hanami and half a dozen other projects, one of Knitspot’s patterns goes into my own queue.

    Happy musicmaking! LittleBit’s Christmas choir concert is coming up in the next couple of weeks, and I can’t wait.

  3. I’m not much for retreats either. I can’t sit through meetings and other activities requiring a lot of sitting. But your retreat setting looks absolutely beautiful. I find myself talking to God a lot in the car lately, coming home from work. He has been getting an earful from me. I think I need to stop talking and start listening. Oh, Telemann and Vivaldi. That will be beautiful.

  4. what a lovely post Wanda – and great photos. It sounds like it was a perfect retreat.
    Lace is great for prayer time – the focus it takes to knit a shawl certainly tunes out all of the daily “static” – glad you are brave now and will join the ranks of the rest of us who love Annes’ shawls 🙂

  5. What a fantastic location for a retreat – I agree wholeheartedly that having someone else thinking about all the cooking is bliss and Mum is really letting me have a break as I type! I love the photo’s of the birthday – I think that should be how everyone eats cake on their birthday!! Enjoy your music making and keep up with that lace!

  6. Your retreat sounds like it was lovely, and very soothing to the soul. I love your prayer shawl. I absolutely agree with you about the meditative qualities of lace knitting; I think it’s part of why I love it so. I gave away my first three lace projects (a scarf and two shawls)(now that I think about it, they were my first three completed knitting projects!), and there were positive intentions in every stitch (some grand, some on the “please don’t let me get this wrong” scale; I choose to believe they’re all good). I cook for people who are ill in the same way; each chop, each stir, is full of intention for the person I’m thinking of. I like the idea of daily actions as prayer. I hope your friend is doing well. Thanks for a beautiful post!

  7. Wanda, I so loved reading this post and through your telling and the beautiful photos,a little of that ‘retreat’ is still with me.
    Congratulations on the lace knitting , I too find it addictive and when knitting I find, it’s ‘I’ll just do one more row and then I’ll do ………’
    Maybe you should try Anne Hansons’s ‘Twinings’ Stole ?

  8. Oh my, how beautiful. I haven’t been to the beach in over five years; thank you for posting those wonderful pictures. My favorite retreats have always been those with lots of time for quiet prayer…engulfed in creation and God’s presence…glad you had some time away!

  9. What a beautiful place to have a retreat, I’m glad it gave you so much joy.
    The shawl is becoming very pretty,and made with so much love !
    Please do try Anne’s patterns, they are so pretty.

  10. I’ve got to agree: the photos are lovely and the retreat sounds as if it was pretty perfectly timed–and went well.

    I have to laugh about the lace. The things you’re noticing about knitting lace are exactly the things that got me into spinning, and it was my hunt for lace yarn that made me take the plunge. But just wait . . . If you haven’t finished the shawl yet, just wait until you block it. That’s when this marvelous transmorphosis happens, and you feel as if you’re watching a caterpillar emerge from its cocoon.

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