October 09, 2007

Retreat

We climbed a mountain and got naked at the summit. We waded through a stream and splashed in a waterfall. We cooked together and ate meals by candlelight and sat at night by a crackling fire. We played a ridiculous game called Washers that led to so many jokes that we were rolling about on the ground with laughter. We took a night time walk that led us through the darkest of places.

We gave each other massages and reiki. We meditated and wrote in our journals. We talked. We listened to music. We took photos. We went paddling in the canoe. We stripped off our clothes and swam in the chilly lake. We teased each other and made fun of each other and laughed at our faults and weaknesses. We saw a red-necked grebe and the scat of a large bear. We watched the sunrise together. We walked a labyrinth. We cried and laughed and hugged each other.

It's wonderful to spend four days with close friends who love each other enough to be vulnerable and honest with each other, who know how to be supportive of each other, but also give each other space. As the long weekend came to an end, we carried on the tradition of Signing Woman's family, singing a goodbye song that has as its refrain, "Be always kind and true." We always laugh as we sing the song, because it's a children's Sunday school song, but as we were driving home, Quilt Artist said to me, seriously, "You know, a retreat like that does make me want to be a better person."

Morning coffee

My friend Beautiful Hair taking a quiet moment to drink her morning tea.

18 comments:

BeachMama said...

Sounds like a retreat we all need to make once a year. I love Quilt Artists' comment. Sometimes we all need to stop and think to make us want to be better people. Glad you got to get away.

Yankee T said...

Sounds terrific.

AF said...

So, I'm kind of interested in that mountaintop moment. Any photos?

Songbird said...

I love this, and that song, although you do always make me feel I'm a bit safe and dull. I'll be thinking of someplace great to take you around City By the Sea!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

How wonderful! Wish I could have been there too!

listie said...

It must be wonderful to have such a close, supportive group of friends.

purpleteardropsofhappilymarriedness said...

AF jeez, I hope to someday have close friends like you do joe, the kind that all get along with one another and legitimately are honest with one another. You've got the good life. Glad you had fun.

zhoen said...

What we all crave.

anonymous blogger reader said...

are you sure she's drinking coffee?

jo(e) said...

Anon: When I took this photo, I was breathing in the smell of coffee (I love that smell) which means that SOMEONE was drinking coffee, but come to think of it, I think the woman in the photo drinks tea.

jo(e) said...

Artist Friend: Check back tomorrow for the nude photos ....

Sue said...

I love that photo. It just helps me breathe more deeply and relax. I am so glad your retreat was so life-giving.

Rokeya said...

Just out of curiosity, are all the Wild Women extroverts like you?

jo(e) said...

Rokeya: No, definitely not. It's a mix.

I think if we were all extroverts, we'd drive each other crazy.

Cathy said...

I have a feeling what happens at retreat, stays at retreat :)

Then again, perhaps the "naked" part will get you quite a few hits on the search engines.

Isn't it nice to have girlfriends that you can get naked, both figuratively and literally with, with all of our imperfections?

jo(e) said...

Cathy: Yes. That's it exactly.

YourFireAnt said...

Well, of COURSE you got naked. It's one of your favorite activities, next to getting other people to get naked.

Photos please.

;-)

FA

Silver Creek Mom said...

I want to take a weekend on a lake like that. It seems most of my weekend friends like to shop. Where I don't. I will be going away to the city in Nov with them but i think i will take my camera and just take Photo's Who knows what I will find.

Although yours seems much more relaxing.