Retreat's over. We go into the City tomorrow morning to visit the mother-church. Peaceful tim here at the retreat house, gorgeous weather. This morning one of my new novice brothers and I decided to take a walk in the woods. I thought we were on the trail that circumnavigated the little lake on the property. But, engrossed as we were in conversation, we just kept following the trail. Another trail, it turned out. About thirty minutes later, the woods ended, and the trail opened up in someone's backyard.
Uh oh. "Where the frac are we?"
The Paulists have some 1100 acres up here, most of it wooded. Which direction did we go in? We start walking through the subdivision. I have no earthly idea where we are. Nor do we have a cellphone, or a wallet, or a dime on us. Great. We're going to end up in the county jail. Someone pulls out of a driveway where Ridge Road might be. He looks a little surprised to see us, but tells us to go downhill, turn left, then right. "You'll see the lake out there."
Except it's not the lake on the property. It's a different lake. A much larger one.
We're not going to get back in time for Mass. Father Novice Master will not be pleased. Thankfully, the next gent we ask for directions gives us a lift all the way back in his pick-up. Turns out, we'd gone north, and ended up in the next township, Sparta. At least 3 or 4 miles away. The walk back would have easily taken an hour, since we'd be going around the circumference of the property, and then walking another mile to the house from the gate.
As it was, we showed up five minutes before Mass was supposed to start. Kindness of strangers and all that.