Imagine a lovely old lodge, built of rough-hewn logs, perched on a hillside, surrounded by gardens, with beautiful decks overlooking the Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains. Imagine, now, spending your days here with 20 or so other like-minded souls, many of them dear friends of long standing; all of us doing art and studying the poetry of Mary Oliver; being fed fabulous meals, and starting and ending each day with chanting, prayer, meditation, music and poetry; serenaded to sleep each night by two lovely men with guitars...
Yup. You're right. I've died and gone to Heaven! No, Really!
And there are other gifts: there are two couples and another woman here, people I've never met before, who know -- in their far away places -- people who are dear to me and key parts of my life history. How amazing is that? A couple from San Diego who know the maid of honor in my wedding, who lives in Alabama. A couple from Houston who know a woman who's been part of a close network of friends for 20 years. A woman from Calgary who knows a woman I've been on several retreats with and corresponded with off and on for years...
But the best aspect of this time together is the sense of Divine Flow; that we are all linked, with one another and with nature, with you and with God and with the sea and the stars and the birds, and that there is an energy, a joy, that flows from and through us and out again into the world...
Yes, I know, it sounds woo-woo. But what grounds and links it all is this amazing poetry. So I share here with you a brief sample:
Song of the Builders
On a summer morning I sat down on a hillside to think about God --
a worthy pastime. Near me I saw a single cricket; it was moving the grains of the hillside
this way and that way. How great was its energy, how humble its effort. Let us hope
it will always be like this, each of us going on in our inexplicable ways building the universe. -- Mary Oliver