The sun is setting, the camp fire crackles and the silent wilderness surrounds. As a group sit around the fire they share stories, experiences and get to know each other through honest conversation.
The annual Wilderness Retreat, from 6 –12 August, is a week including times of solitude, sharing and exploring spirituality in the open spaces of Shark Bay.Organised by First Third and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress WA, the retreat is a time to get away from the stresses of life and get back to basics.
Des Lawson has been on the retreat numerous times and says that it is a special time to be with God and to reflect on life.
To him, some of the best experiences on the trip involve, “Being out and away from everything and that reflection time that you can have by yourself. Sometimes you can just walk away from the crew and go in deep thought; just that moment between you and God and the country.
“Also at night, when we sit around the camp fire and yarn and tell stories,” he said. “The warmth from the fire and the beautiful view that we have on sunset; it’s awesome.”
Dave Marshall agrees. He participated on the retreat last year and has also been previously. He said that the absence of the busyness of life, as well phone and internet reception, leads to a week of gaining perspective.
“You just have to let go and relax and be at one with yourself,” he said. “You can calm down and settle everything, kind of like resetting the switch a bit.
“You don’t have to be anything or a certain way. You’ve just got to rock up and be yourself.”
His time on the retreat is too hard to explain and really needs to be experienced to understand.
“It’s hard to talk about because there’s too much,” he said. “You need to go to experience it.”
The Wilderness Retreat will be held from 6–12 August in Shark Bay. For more information contact Rick Morrell on 9260 9800 or 1300 736 692 for country callers or email firstname.lastname@example.org.