Friday, July 18, 2008
trains, planes, and automobiles (oh, and shuttles, footpaths and a little levitating)
As I write this, Bella is trying to convince me to play with her by waving her toy Skunkie in my face. This toy was a gift from her Aunt Barb, who spoiled her way past imagining when I was gone, right down to getting her icecream from Capt Sundae's on her last night at the Malis's. Bella no doubt experienced a level of nurturing, care and joy equal to mine on our vacations. Thanks, Barb and Joe and Ollie and Leo, for taking my little knucklehead into your home and hearts and treating her like one of your own. When I die, I want to come back as one of Barb's pets.
Shambhala didn't disappoint. It was as challenging an endeavor as I have ever taken on-physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually--came out of it feeling stronger, lifted up, I hope a little wiser. I met some incredible women, like Tory, a free-lance correspondent who has traveled a great deal, and continued this habit at Shambhala by walking the perimeter's 6 mile path before any of us got to the breakfast tent one morning. Full of humor, heart and wisdom, her stories of her adventures kept us captivated.
Also Joan, a woman who took me for a walk one morning when my tears were blinding me and showed me a broken tree that had such life and new growth that it inspired her each time she looked at it. This tree, she said, was a metaphor for her life. Joan's smile was serene and radiant and I knew she meant it when she said her life is beautiful now.
I could go on and on--there were 15 of us all together, and as always happens in these kinds of situations, my ignorance and fear at the beginning told me how different (unique?) I was, and five days later, we were all the same, all the same.