Back in the early part of May I spent a few hours at Kenyon Ranch where we’ll be holding our All Souls Retreat this November. There’s something in the air and in the mountains and in the dirt and in the cactus that feels like deep freedom to me. That freedom is a stream I connect to. In it, I feel more connected in my body, my mind and my spirit. When I feel myself connected to my surroundings, edges and limits dematerialize. I feel history that I didn’t even know I had. And I am part of it.
While there I met Maria Gomez Murphy, the General Manager and felt instantly comfortable and excited to get to know her and be at her place, seeing it through her eyes as well as my own. My daughter Tanya, a yoga instructor who lives in Tucson, came with me for the ride. Watching her interact with Maria supported my sense of this being a place where people of different ages and different backgrounds can come together and support each other.
We talked about the "All Souls" Procession, about The Day of the Dead, about making bread (Maria has offered to give Tanya and I a lesson if we make it there a day or two before the retreat begins), about writing, about spirit as it passes through all things, about horses and javelinas and water.
We walked the grounds and Maria shared a bit of her own history of being at the ranch and of her own pull to be there. Both my daughter and I felt what she was talking about. It made me want to walk and it made me want to write.
I encourage anyone who is drawn to what I am speaking of to come with us in November. It is a retreat in every sense of the word and it is also a place and time to connect to your own history whether you’ve been to the desert or not. That deep freedom is infectious and, combined with the loving support of other participants as well as the staff, I have no doubt it will be a transformational experience.
We’ll spend a few days writing and listening, a there will be beautiful meals; a fine chef will help us nourish our bodies. Morning yoga will begin our day, led by a very fine yoga instructor and then mid-retreat, we’ll go to The All Souls Procession. I went a few years ago and not only had a blast but I carried the spirit of my ancestry and the Earth’s ancestry with me. We dress up (if you want to) and celebrate who and what has come before us. I closely carry the experience with me still.
I look so forward to seeing you there and having the chance to write together.