We survived. Don't be fooled by the excellent, jolly cake, supplied by Black's of Dunoon - all the food was of the highest quality and nothing like survival rations - but the experience of serving on team at a Cursillo weekend is not one you can repeat too often, and one which provides an example of the sheer stamina and determination of a bunch of people in late middle age who might be expected to sit around over the weekend, enjoying the Spring sunshine and congratulating themselves on not having to work any more. But goodness, do you pay for it!
And was it a success, this weekend? I think so, for the majority of the participants. It's not actually possible to evaluate the experience immediately. Some people can find the effect of the weekend overwhelming and need time to reflect. Others are overjoyed by what they find and can't wait to serve on team themselves, to fill in the other side of the experience. And still others feel distanced, alienated even, from what happens in the course of the weekend, only to show in their subsequent lives that something has changed. I know that we had participants who fall into the first two categories, and only time will show if we had the third.
But through the total exhaustion that engulfs team members - usually when they are halfway home and feel a bit as if they've been let out of prison - one thing stands out as the reward. For if only one participant tells you, maybe in a quiet, personal moment, that they have had a wonderful time, or been helped to cope with the difficulties of their ordinary life by the support they have received over the weekend, then it is all worth it. Every last, aching, sleep-deprived moment of it.
And that happened on weekend #57.