Home. I had two bad days and three wicked awesome days, at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA. I'll gradually give you almost a day by day description of what I went through.
First:the reason I went there in the first place was that my Spiritual Director was assigned there. I met Fr. Aquinas at Mt. St. Mary's Abbey in Wrentham, MA. He was there for 9 years. He became my Spiritual Director because he said "women should be spiritual directors for men and men should be spiritual directors for women."
January he was posted to St. Joseph's Abbey. I wrote him a long letter which he didn't answer. He just wrote back telling me to come on retreat and we can talk.
But he wasn't there the first day. I had visions of him opening the door with opened arms and greeting me as the long lost friend that we have become. In fact, more often than not, he was not there. What kind of "guest master" is that? There's always a lay person there to help us, however. But it was AQ that I came to see.
It took me that first day to get use to the "silence." It felt "creepy." I thought I was inside a "void." After the first day, however, I didn't even notice it.
There were nine of us: 3 men, one a priest, and 6 women, one a nun. I was most impressed with the Eucharistic Dove hanging above the altar in the retreat house's little chapel. This is an early Christian custom to keep the Eucharist inside a dove and hang it suspended from the ceiling. It was a good visual, this prototype of Christ.