Awakened this morning to the silence and the mountains and the clear blue sky. Wonderwell is indeed a refuge and a blessing.
All of yesterday was wonderful. DJ, Pat, and Bunny from Bodi and Mind Yoga drove up from Boston to spend the morning with us. They may have been tempted by the promise of the legendary tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich lunch, but they came mostly because they are generous and loving and want to be supportive and helpful.
Their gift to us included gentle yoga, either sitting or on a mat, and meditation and some thoughtful conversation. Bunny is a Reiki Master and spent time with each of us, sharing her healing touch. I will admit that I have never before experienced Reiki and have been a complete skeptic. Now I am convinced that something important happens. When I talked with her afterwards, she said that there is healing energy in the universe, and that some people are natural Geiger counters for it. Others can be trained to channel the universe's healing through themselves and their hands. I was astonished when I felt the deep, wonderful heat on my shoulders the instant that she laid her hands on me. Wow.
When the session was over, the woman next to me said: "Boy, do you look relaxed." When I looked later in the mirror, I thought I had lost five years. How wonderful it would be to save those feelings and to be able to have this experience often. We all felt completely relaxed and recovered and content when we sat down to that soup and those wonderful sandwiches.
After lunch, we spent most of the afternoon on the porch, looking at the mountains, and talking, talking, talking. We talked about hard things and we shared our lives, and we laughed a lot. Eventually we transitioned to wine and appetizers and then to dinner. And what a dinner! Since we are a small group, instead of the usual buffet, we had service. We just sat and ate and drank and loved every deilcious bite: especially the warm flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and whipped cream--decorated with a mint leaf.
As we sat around the table, we had a moment of remembrance and a toast for the women who have been here before on earlier retreats and who have since died: Holly, Deb, Melissa, Tracy, Grace, Amy B, Margaret, Monet, Roz, Norma, Susanne, Marilyn, Michelle, and Suzy. I have clear memories of each of them here: laughing at dinner or moving to gentle dance with Lama Samten or sitting by the fire with tea. I remember their words and their faces and their spirits that surround us here. We thanked them, and we blessed them, and we hope to carry on their grace.
We have finished breakfast (apple cinnamon pancakes with real maple syrup and eggs and strawberries) and will soon have an hour of meditation with Liz. Then it will be time to pack and have lunch and start our individual trips back to our lives, carrying these days with us.