|My Friend's Pond in Nevada City, California|
Everyone brought some good vegetarian food, which was great for me because I often have nothing to eat at potlucks, unless it is something I bring.
The trip would have been worth the nearly four hours of driving (complete with road construction) if we did only those things at the retreat, but there were two things that really made the day special for me. We were given an hour to go off by ourselves, for nature to inspire us. We were to find a place of our own where we could think or write or whatever we were moved to do. There were some stand up paddleboards we could use to go out to the middle of the pond, or we could walk or hike to somewhere else. I chose a stool in some trees across the pond from where we gathered together. (If you look across the pond in the photo, you will see some Adirondack chairs. I was about 30 feet or so to the left and up the hill a bit.) I listened to the stream bubble and drip its way toward the pond. It reminded me of survival. If you ever get lost, all you need to do is follow a stream to civilization. Streams and ponds and rivers and lakes and oceans - water - is necessary for our very survival and for the planet's survival. I won't get into all the metaphysical and symbolic meanings, but it's very healing all the way around, for all the senses.
We were told to bring something special to read, whether we wrote it ourselves, or if it was written by someone else. I chose a passage from Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, my favorite book. The first time I read the passage, while reading the novel, I cried. I was moved so wholly, in mind and spirit. We each read our chosen passages at the end of the retreat. That really capped off the experience for me, as each person who read had an emotional connection to what they read. One read part of her novel, that I cannot wait to read. There was a humorous element that makes me want to print a t-shirt with what her character said. I left with a feeling of completeness and peace. My companions and I had a wonderful day!
This past weekend, on Saturday, October 3, was our local Relay for Life, a yearly event to collect donations to kick cancer's ass. Every year, for the past five or six, my business, Awareness Village, has participated with my friend Rhonda's business, Bar Bar Bar. My husband, George, walks the Survivor Walk every year, gets a free dinner, and a swag bag with a free, survivor's t-shirt and fun things like water bottles, sunscreen, pens, first aid kits, lip balm, that type of thing. He looks forward to taking the walk every year, and I look forward to helping collect what I can for the cause. Every year I teach a yoga class or two, for donations. Additionally, Rhonda has a booth with carnival games, and sell water, cookies, and pizza, with which I help her. All our proceeds go to American Cancer Society.
This year we had a special game, Bra Pong. The object of Bra Pong is to toss ping pong balls toward the board of bras, using all your skill and tossing prowess to land a ball in a bra cup. Each contestant was given three balls for $1. If the contestant got a ball in a bra, he or she won a prize. If all three balls landed well, the contestant won a special prize. No one won a special prize, but all enjoyed playing. Some enjoyed just looking at the bras. One person had to go to each bra, guess the size and check the actual size. George enjoyed practicing his tossing prowess, and he got six balls in cups. He was so happy! LOL
This year Sunshine Bakery provided dinner of lasagna (even vegetarian), salad, garlic bread, and the choice of a raspberry or apricot bar for dessert. YUMMY! I haven't had the dinner in past years; it's free for survivors, but $10 for regular folk like me. In the past, there was no sort of vegetarian option, so it wasn't worth my money.
Last night, George and I went to the Incline Village theater to see The Martian. I fully recommend seeing the movie! I won't say any more about it, other than the screenplay was wonderfully written, and the cinematography and acting were superb. My emotions were tugged and I refused to get up and I suffered until the end before going to the bathroom. The no bathroom "thing" is the hallmark of a really great movie, don't you think? Other bonuses include a great soundtrack (which I have to have) and this is possibly the only movie I have seen in which Sean Bean's character doesn't die. I like Sean Bean, so that's a big deal. Here is a my favorite official trailer.
Also in October, we will celebrate with our group, Northern Nevada Ghost Hunters, the group's 10th Anniversary. Isn't that awesome! We have been in the group for at least the last five of those years. There is more in October, but I may post some photos later when I share about that. In November, at the very least, we will be going to New Orleans with my cousin and her husband. While we are there, it just so happens a friend will also be there with his girlfriend. I was tickled pink when I found out we would see them while we were there. My friend and his girlfriend live in Washington and Oregon, so we don't get to see them very often.
So, you see, this Fall season has been very full indeed!