You are currently viewing Emerging to the Light

Emerging to the Light

By Kimberly Alchimisti

I attended a weekend workshop at the Mercy Center a few months ago and it literally changed my life. The experience brought me out of place of darkness into love, light and a return to the world.

My family made the decision to huddle up in a very small tight Covid cave to protect close family members who were vulnerable. We had babies, daughters due to have babies, my sister who was battling a terminal cancer diagnosis and a small family business we needed to protect.  We walked away from friends, community, activities, neighbors and extended family. I’m not complaining because it was our choice but it was a period of loneliness and isolation. We circled the wagons.

Vaccines became available and our world opened up. We were able to return to our business, our littles went back to school, and my sister found a treatment that gave us hope.  I remembered attending a fulfilling weekend seminar at the Mercy Center many years ago so I went online and looked up the possibilities of re-entering the world. A workshop titled Listen to Your Life: A Writing Retreat sparked my interest and gave me a little hope that normal life could return.

I felt nervous at first. The isolation fed my timid side but I missed being with people so I signed up. The Mercy Center was a safe place where community and personal growth was possible and quite probable. I found the Center to be peaceful, welcoming, a place to reflect and connect.

Thirty women, all strangers, came together. Three leaders facilitated. There was excitement and some trepidation. Questions arose like “Should I wear a mask? Should I sit ten feet away? Should I be myself or just observe?” All those questions went immediately out the window as soon as I walked through the doors. I was greeted with good cheer and was led to the area where the course was being held by a kind employee. We started by going around the circle sharing names and by the end of the weekend we had forged through all the muck and the mire of our Covid days with hugs, appreciation and joy. We shared beautifully written stories and experiences, delicious meals, meditated and created collages of a brighter, more loving and lighter world. By the end of the retreat we all created deep friendships, exchanged numbers and looked forward to meeting again. A few of the Sisters of Mercy attended the retreat. The Sisters were welcoming, brilliant and warm hearted. The labyrinth was quiet and a perfect place to gather one’s resources. 

When the weekend ended we were different people. Life felt warm, broader, creative and the Mercy Center brought us all together. I am grateful to the Mercy Center for bringing me back to life and expanding my world after a difficult time. The retreat opened my world back up again. The experience was powerful and life changing. I am truly grateful!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Kay Sweeney

    It was a great retreat full of wonderfully open women. Thank you all!

Leave a Reply