For the Fourth of July holiday, Learner and his family are heading out of town to his family's farm 100 miles north of here. The children are looking forward to time with their grandparents; Learner is looking forward to time not being at seminary.
But it's not just a retreat from the seminary that Learner is anticipating (after all, his next Greek exam is Thursday, and he will be taking his studies with him). Rather, he is looking forward to getting away from the city, from the busy interstates always filled with traffic that criss-cross and roar right next door to this place.
While Learner has never been all that much of a farm boy, he certainly has the mentality of one much more so than a city boy. Things in the country just make more sense to Learner: the idea of seeing and knowing people more than just randomly; the responsibility of being a good neighbor; the sense of respect and connection with the land; and the quiet - oh, the quiet, he says - that comes with living on gravel roads and not gritty highways.
This will be Learner's first trip back to the farm since he and the family left it to come here a month or so ago. It will be interesting to see if it "feels" different returning as a student again like he was when he came home periodically from college. Of course, with family in tow, it will definitely be logistically different from those days, but he imagines some of the same feelings will be present.
Retreat. There's nothing like it, he says, and he's asked me to come along with the family to experience it. I'm honored to be invited.