Continually Seeking - Notes from the 2015 Living Education Retreat

Another LER has come and gone. This year was at a special location (Villa Maria Retreat Center) because it was our 10th year of meeting together.  Storms and humidity made for some uncomfortable weather, but there was plenty of sunshine, too. The people, the discussions, the relationships, the new knowledge - these things are what made my heart sing.

I delivered the opening Conversazione and reminded everyone that we were at the warbler capital of Minnesota.  I read this poem by Wendell Barry:

The yellow-throated warbler, the highest remotest voice
of this place, sings in the tops of the tallest sycamores,
but one day he came twice to the railing of my porch
where I sat at work above the river. He was too close
to see with binoculars. Only the naked eye could take him in,
a bird more beautiful than every picture of himself,
more beautiful than himself killed and preserved
by the most skilled taxidermist, more beautiful
than any human mind, so small and inexact,
could hope ever to remember. My mind became
beautiful by the sight of him. He had the beauty only
of himself alive in the only moment of his life.
He had upon him like a light the whole
beauty of the living world that never dies.

The LER team
I also introduced this special project.   The first printing sold out quickly, so I will let you know on the blog when the 2nd printing is available.  There will be a more detailed explanation in my next blog post.  
The Cloud of Witness
The good  Dr. and the magnanimous Mr. Wright

Here is Amber's rendering of the verse I shared - 

Continually seeking,



  1. Wonderful! Our church has a women's retreat at Villa Maria every year. It's such a beautiful place.

    1. I agree, Ellen! The atmosphere was superb!

  2. I am very much looking forward to that more detailed explanation, Nancy, as the book looks so very lovely. It sounds like once again LER was a blessing for all in attendance.

    1. Thank you, Dawn! So glad you attended the AO conference and were able to connect with those lovely ladies.

  3. Replies
    1. (And we are thankful for you, Amy!)

  4. Oh my goodness. What a WONDERFUL time that was! I didn't realize how impacting it would be to be among so many like-minded moms! I'm so thankful I could be a part of it. :)

    1. We LOVED having you, Catie. So glad you were nourished by it all. I hope to see you again next year!

  5. Thank you for sharing this report. I love the handdrawn map and the poem, especially. How wonderful to have that time together!