A Glimpse of the All Souls Retreat 2016 - Thank you, Pam!

A few weeks ago we gathered in the desert at one of the original dude ranches to write our burning, beating hearts out.  Together we experienced stunning sunrises and glowing sunsets, cold, starry nights, a meal of unimaginably delicious sweet potato quesadillas, deep and meaningful meditations along with heart-opening morning yoga.  There were steaming cups of hot coffee in crips morning air, the not-so distant howls of wild coyotes in the night and evenings of soul-felt singing.  Mid-retreat was marked by the mystical All Souls Procession in Tucson, where we dressed up and walked alongside the face-painted community of Tucson honoring the cycle of death and life.  Below is a excerpt from a second-time retreat participant and dear Tuscan Goddess writer, Pam Dumlao.  These are the words she shared as she left the desert.  Thank you for letting us post this, Pam.  Those dancing shadows remain with us, just like everyone's bold writing that week.  

I leave Arizona with a heavy heart.  I arrived a week ago with no expectations of feeling anything for Arizona or the desert.  I'm much more of a green forest with babbling brooks kind of gal.  I love the smell of moss after a spring rain, none of which exists in the desert.  Moss or rain, that is, or anything green or babbling for that matter.  

I honestly never took any interest in Arizona or the people and unique culture that exists there.  I quickly came to realize that not only does the desert have its own beauty but through a deep rooted Indian culture quite a deep and ethereal connection with the earth.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, this would have a dramatic impact on me as the week progressed.  

The sunsets were a profound and memorable experience.  Each one a masterpiece never to exist on a canvas.  It wasn't simply a view that took place in only a moment, rather an event, a time lapse that required an attention to experience the multitude of color changes as the sun moved up and over the mountain...the hues of pinks, purples, and blues as they faded up into the deep, darkening blue sky.  The shadows danced, appearing and disappearing in the folds of the landscape in the valley and up the mountain side.  I sat mesmerized not wanting to even blink!  (Until the dinner bell rang, that is).  As the days passed, I came to appreciate how the air felt bigger, how the sun could warm my body while my skin stayed cool, how the wind had a voice.   

On this, our last day, Jolly and I were blessed with a sunrise that I know was painted by God herself.  The turquoise blue sky was translucent and directly above us were two narrow and long strokes of hot pink clouds.  It looked as if someone had taken a paint brush and swiped it across the sky.  It was beautiful and fluorescent and magnificent...and gone within minutes.  

So while I leave Arizona with this heavy heart, I am also excited for what lies ahead.  Inspiration, a new pen pal, a sacred shack.  My higher creative self is standing tall, firmly rooted at the front of the line.

Thank you all again for your hearts, your sharing, your wisdom, and your writing...it will sustain me!  See you in Maine, July 2017!!!