For 36 years, I have made my annual pilgrimage to South Lake Tahoe; specifically, Zephyr Point. Newly married, Gene and I went on vacation that first summer, stopped by to visit our Presbyterian “camp” on the Lake, and never looked back.
Year after year, sometimes twice a year, we rented the old cabins, built in the 1930s and 40’s, trying out different ones for the view, the comfort, the smell of pine trees surrounding our deck. In the early years, we even took our dog and cat! When I started taking study leaves there, I got to know the camp directors, and pretty soon, we were invited to lead grandparents’ retreats, youth groups, children’s camp, women’s groups. It has always held a special place in my heart, for all the fond memories of beauty and faith and fun.
Nine years ago, we were in the pastor’s study cabin, right on the Lake, when I discovered a group doing tai chi down by the water. As I moved closer, I saw that it was a colleague, Marjorie Hoyer Smith and later, I found out that it was part of a spiritual retreat, “Companions on the Inner Way”. The next year, I went for the week, and it changed my life.
“Companions” is a week of prayer, worship, study, art, tied together with a particular theme, developed by the guest lecturer. Each afternoon is Sabbath time, where we’re on our own to explore, swim, nap, make art. Zephyr Point has truly become my “thin place”, as the Irish call it - where the veil between this world and the next (heaven and earth) is so sheer you can walk through it.
This August, I will be on the preaching staff, as I have twice before, as well as leading a Lectio Divina group. The participants, the staff, the musicians have become family to me over the years and I find myself longing for the peace and the sense of the Holy I find there, year after year.
(CPC offers a four day respite every year, with a lodge big enugh for 30, our own kitchen, and a view of the lake. July 6-9, join us and find your own thin place, to rest and refresh your spirit. There are also camps for kids throughout the summer, choral music retreats, quilters, etc. Take a look at the brochures in Covenant Hall).
Soft Summer Blessings,