Retreat:  1) an act of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable   2) a place of privacy or safety  3) a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director

Last year, right around end of May, we were supposed to be prepping for a period of group withdrawal.  A long anticipated community retreat, the first since the 2015 loss of Harbin to fire. This retreat was special, not only for its resurrection value, but because it was the culmination of five year’s of art/dance collaborative workshops.  When we cancelled, the hard hit retreat center, unable to refund the hefty deposit, asked us to consider re-scheduling.  A year ago that felt impossible.  Business as usual evaporated all around us.  This one thing fell by the wayside along with a multitude of things.

Lately it feels like we’re picking up some of the fallen pieces.  Some we retrieve and return right back where they fell.  Everything feels up for consideration.  We looked at this fallen piece every which way and chose to let it find expression.  And the fact of that felt so dreamy…until last week when we physically returned to Four Springs and let ourselves fall in love all over again.  From the sweet cabin spaces, nested in forest of oak, madrone, manzanita, fir….

to the pool and grape arbor….

to the clean, light-filled dance space…

This retreat was dreamed up pre-pandemic and its description feels prescient.  Cultivate Being…..because in this last year some old ways of being began to be seen in new light. For instance, the habitual ways we can lose ourselves in the details.  Those pesky details that keep life in forward motion…relentlessly.  Or how every moment we’re busy fixing we forget to notice how perfectly right things are. In the silent spaces this year granted, life’s treadmill and the way it can overwhelm us came clearly into view.

This residential natural setting, some mandala-making, some 5Rhythms dance feels like the right place to gather and cultivate our way back to being together again.  Ah yes, always the conversation about risk.  We are asking you to exercise self-responsibility.  Masks and physical distancing are optional.   If this works for you, please come.  If it does not, just wait.  There will be a next time.  We are already more than half full: singles, doubles, tent space outdoors or sleeping bag space indoors.  And my son, Ross is catering some yum healthy vittles.

Ready to hop off for a moment? Move a bit away, give perspective a chance to ripen?  Consider what pieces you want to pick back up and what needs to remain fallow.  Retreat in the cradle of community with collective permission to just be.  Harbin Hot Springs is right next door…big invitation to soak all day Friday before we begin. That’s where I’ll be.

In the meantime, I’m here in Sacramento offering it up.  And when I’m not here, you can often find me out in the forest or at the ocean camping out in my trusty bus.

Time in nature is requisite for my well-being.  I hope we can spend some time in the lap of the great mother together.  ❤️Bella