past tense of FEED:
2 a: to furnish something essential to the development, sustenance, maintenance, or operation of (reading feeds the mind) b: to supply (material to be operated on) to a machine
4 a: satisfy , gratify b: support , encourage
My retreat this weekend left me feeling fed - like I had received something "essential to my development." I felt satisfied, gratified, supported and encouraged by my time. For me, the weekend was the perfect mix of solitude and fellowship. My time of quiet reflection, listening, writing and introspection left me ready to hike, chat and laugh with friends. God used this time to talk with me about an insecurity that has plagued me for as long as I can remember and I believe healing started.
I've been on retreats in the past that were just one night, but this experience left me convinced that two nights is perfect. I had plenty of time to unwind, relax and enjoy myself, but I was ready to come back to my family and hear how their weekend had been. My only question for myself at the end was how to sustain this sense of spiritual satiation when I was back in the real world.
I'm not sure I have the answer to that, but I think a first step is to buy a set of ear plugs. While several friends talked about the need to find a spot for their solitude where they wouldn't be distracted by other people, I had no problem seeing past visual distractions to look inward. But noise. That is another story. While I've been blessed with an ability to still my mind pretty easily, noise is something I can't block out. I can't get quiet inside if there is noise seeping in. So perhaps I need to buy some earplugs to use in my haven to block out the harmless sounds of dogs barking, cars driving by and birds chirping. I have nothing against any of these sounds, but perhaps being able to filter them out momentarily will aid me in feeding myself day by day, not just when I'm on a retreat.