A Little Refuge

Sep 23, 2010

Once a year the members of my husband’s clergy support group are guests at a beautiful inn in the North Carolina mountains. At 5000 feet the view of the sky, meadows, and surrounding Appalachian range is spectacular. After years of nagging, we spouses garnered an invitation to the retreat as well. When we arrived,  I stuck my hand in a paper bag and pulled out a little piece of paper with our room assignment. Each room or cabin is unique and charming with no bum choices in the whole place.

This year Andy’s and my lottery draw must be the honeymoon suite. The room has a king-sized bed, a fireplace with a stack of wood, an indoor shower, and a porch twenty feet above the ground with an outdoor shower and a copper soaking tub. In the twenty-four hours I’ve been here, I have tried both of the outdoor bathing options.

This morning at 4:40 AM I sat on the chaise lounge of the porch and read until the sky lightened into pastels and a hot pink sun rose above the mountains. Not a bad way to spend a sleepless few hours.

As much as I enjoy the exotic plumbing amenities and a ring-side seat at the early dawn light show, the place I love best in the room is a humble little cubbycorner across from the indoor shower. It’s intended as a vanity with one of those horrifying magnifying mirrors that turns pores into potholes large enough to swallow a Ford F-150. Not one for donning much makeup, I have turned the corner into my personal reading and writing place. If I open the porch door inward, I am enclosed on four sides.

Maybe it’s the smell of the cedar-log walls or the sight of the large stones on the front wall, but I keep thinking about the images of cedar trees and stones in Scripture. The coziness and security I feel in my 2’x3′ hideaway also makes me think of the promise of God’s strong but gentle protection in Psalm 91: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91: 4 (NIV)

Check out the Swag Country Inn website.