Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sierra Retreat ~ Welcoming Day

Our Women's Journaling Sierra Retreat unfolds it's wings this 9th day of September. The starting threesome, Jean (my tandem-teacher), Izzy (our amazing gourmet chef) and I, are up early.

Jean and I have a teeny window of time to take a mornin' walk around the lake . . . and just drink in the soothing lake energy and the subtle, rustic beauty we begin to taste as we slow down.

Back at the cabin, Izzy takes her place dancing amongst the food and stove top while Jean and I vigilantly watch the second cabin, the Sequoia, to be vacated. We hope to get at least the living room space tended to by the cleaning staff first, so we can begin setting up our work stations for everyone, settle in our library and spread out shared materials. At 2pm Izzy finally corrals us into taking a break for lunch and we breathe, watching the "makings" of our retreat come together.

Shortly, retreat participants begin arriving. We skitter around touring everyone of the various bedroom possibilities and nesting spots get claimed. Unpacking pursues. With a bit of sun still shimmering on the lake several of us opt for a tour of east end of Lake Alpine. Personally, it's my favorite because of the Miwok Indian holes carved into the granite. See them there in the lake photo, lower right corner of the granite? I can just sense what it must have been to summer there, sitting cross-legged in the afternoon breeze, grinding seeds or grains in the small granite cups there. Anyway, I digress.

We beat feet back to the Ponderosa cabin, the one designated our formal dining area, ready for our first gathering. With the day's warmth still hovering on the deck, we set up the tables there for dining and immerse ourselves in fabulous food, warming wine and stimulating conversation. As the evening cool takes over our outdoor space, we migrate inward.

Our agenda is to craft a collective statement, and loving common energy and we spend giggling hours with this as our culmination. Pretty rich, eh? It will sit amongst us for all our evening gatherings, reminding us all of our individual uniqueness as well, as common bond. A dandy start to the retreat I'd say!!

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