The red dirt path takes a quick right turn. It’s filled with with rocks of various shapes and sizes that forces me to look down in order not to tumble. Making a little game of it I jump over and around the river rock.
About a mile into the forest storm clouds form above the swaying tops of the Ponderosa pines. Thunder rumbles in the distance. Gathering force it shocks the stillness as lightening slashes across the sky, warning me that soon the monsoon rains will soak the parched earth.
My emotions reflect the turbulent weather. I plunge ahead.
The rocky terrain suddenly swerves to the left just as the sun bursts through. I pause to catch my breath and gaze upon a fallen gnarly tree. It appears ancient. Branches twist and curve upon itself.
The spiraling of the dead limbs reminds me of my scoliosis. And as a result how my asana practice is a continuous process of unraveling. Yet, only to ravel again.
My legs feel heavy. My feet cemented to the earth. Unmoving I stare at the tree and know that I am a continual evolution in progress. All of life can be experienced in that fallen tree. I silently acknowledge that we as a community share in this circuitous labyrinthine walk.
When I returned from Italy I felt held in the cherished container of love that we collectively created while exploring the sacred. And thank goodness. For as the plane touched down and I literally stepped my feet back onto the land in Arizona I stepped onto the rocky gnarly road that is the journey called life.
While on pilgrimage to Italy the early Arizona summer rains brought a roof leak to our home. My elderly parents were in mini-crisis. And my dear sister/cousin, aka as my Doppelganger, was diagnosed with a serious health condition and admitted into a hospital thousands of miles away.
I stand transfixed staring at the art, the beauty, the history that this twisted tree offers me.
Tears slide down my hot cheeks. This is why Nature calls to me. Why it is absolutely necessary for the well-being of my spirit to be reunited with sacred earth and sky.
On this day I walk through the forest where the air is clear and the sky spacious. Where storm clouds gather, thunder rents open the heart, and the fecund smell of the earth is like a balm soothing the rough edges.
She is a reflection. A mirror. Reminding me of the sacred rhythm of life. Stepping into Her I reclaim my Self yet again, and I step more fully into my life.
That is why Denise and I are returning to the mystical land of Umbria. Every day we realize on a deeper level how powerful our retreat truly was. For ourselves. Most definitely!
But more importantly, for the depth of healing transformation each participant experienced. We are privileged and honored to have been their container and stewards of fearless love. We are privileged and honored to hold the space once again when we step into the glorious time of autumn harvest in November 2016.
The light will shine with a different sparkle. The grape leaves will explode in colors of gold, orange and burnt reds. The olives will gracefully fall into the nets of harvest.
Intention of healing transformation will remain the same. Bodies, minds and hearts will open expansively. Senses will awaken in wild wonder. Community will gather to support one another and experience the sacred in loving kindness.
Perhaps this is your time to join us in pilgrimage to the magnificence that is Umbria. Where your own mystic nature awaits.
I would love to hear from you. Scroll to the top and leave a comment.
In what ways do you enter into the sacred? Why is it important that you do? At what cost is it to your well-being when you ignore the calling of your mystic nature?