Yesterday I returned from our annual MCYM retreat. The experience of the retreat is like a shadow over the rest of the year – a good shadow, one which provides respite from a too hot sun, a place of shade to relax in. It has resonances for me of the shadow of God’s wings (Psalm 37.6), a place of refuge, safety and security. The retreat has grown into that for some of us who have attended all (7) or most of them. Many of the comments this year were about the retreat being a special marker post in the year for people and of the way that we quickly rebond and welcome and embrace those who are newbies. Thus for me the memory, the shadow, offers nurture and sustenance at different points in the year and is a special place where God ministers to us and we minister to each other and in particular God’s creation speaks and inspires.