I hope you all had a beautiful week. I’m back from ‘up top’ and feel so alive and full and strong. A little exhausted and sore, too, but even that is good sensation! Ah, to refill the soul with mountain air! What a gift.

Nine days, nine women, and boundless energy and positiveness. Booming and blooming creativity, inspiring vistas, yoga in a high-altitude meadow, a Native American sweat lodge, a Japanese tea Ceremony, and poetry&art in sunlight, moonlight, mist, fog, hail and rain. Our journey had a taste of everything. Sweat, tears, giggles, lightening strikes, song, prayers and cows. Oh, yes, a tribe of cows moved in with us, feasting on premo-munchin’ green grass. We fell in love with them as they added spice to the Himalayan-esque landscape. Soon, however, we became cow herders with every moon-rise as the solo, ever-clanging cow bell rung relentlessly into the nights. Unfortunately, their almighty dark brown bull was slow to budge and held a great stare, and the cling-clang returned in our dreams as Hare Krishnas and temple bell ringers.

It really was an amazing group of women. I felt honored to spend so much time with each of them. It’s pretty beautiful what can happen in a group like that. Everyone finds their inner strength (making the entire clan so strong). We were flames in a fire dancing wildly in the wind, every word and painting and writing became an offering. Plus, when carrying a pack up 9 miles and 3000 ft, the group energy carries everyone. As the cowboy (in chaps) and Indian (our two horsemen who packed up our kitchen) said when reaching the meadow in the midst of a hail storm, “Eeeeeee, you women halled ass!” Hee.

IMAGES: The top photo was taken at Lobo Peak at 12, 115 ft, with a glorious, 360 degree view. Pictured are 8 of us 9. One free spirit was on a sailboat-of-a-rock dancing naked to the goddess. (We were all living vicariously through her!)

The collage was inspired by a Hafiz poem that begins, “This place where you are right now God circled on a map for you. Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move Against the earth and sky, The Beloved has bowed there – Our Beloved has bowed there knowing You were coming.” I felt like this retreat was not only the perfect timing for me, but it was exactly where I was supposed to be.

The pencil drawing is from a couple of recent dreams strung together, and the square is a fragment of a timed writing. This particular bit was a memory about heaven from my niece Abby when she was about 4 years old. My mom had asked if she’d seen Jesus, and she said, “No. It was a dark place with bright red and green and blue fireworks, and it was so pretty.”

The bottom doodle is of the Moon Salutation in honor of the full moon. I thought I’d share in case you’re interested. The moon salutation is very grounding, cooling and calming. It’s so nice to do before bedtime. (Most people know its counterpart, the sun salutation.

I love that 3 of the women on the trek are moms to small children. (Thanks to the dads) it was awesome to see them take this time for themselves to renew their energy and connect with the earth. I’ll may post some more photos, art and writing that came from the trip later. For now, I hope this post brings a little renewal to you as well. xojenny