Solstice Weekend Retreat

Here we are, launching full-force into summer, the longest day of the year. This weekend’s full moon is supposed to be spectacular. What an auspicious time to be starting school.

Last week we learned that B’s grandmother has been admitted to hospice care. After several episodes of major bleeding, her doctors are fairly certain she has uterine cancer. She’s 96, one of the strongest, most graceful women I know. She’s made clear she’s not interested in heroic interventions. There will be no biopsy, no radiation, no blood transfusions. B decided this past weekend to travel back to the Midwest to be with her. I’m so glad. The doula in me wants to be there, holding her hand, holding space for this journey she’s about to take.

My journey looks different, however. This is my last weekend before classes start. Since B’s away, I’m on my own, and actually, there’s a part of me that’s grateful for this time. I’ve decided to take a solo retreat this weekend, just one night. I’ll rise early on Saturday and drive to the coast, where I’ll camp for the night.

I want to literally stand on the edge, to feel in my body the open expanse that lies ahead of me over these next three years. I want to breathe in the salt air and fill up my reserves with the power and fluidity of the ocean. I want to remember how to be silent, how to listen, how to be curious.

I want to be reminded of the basic elements, of the constancy of change.

I want to dance under the full moon and build a Solstice fire and bask in the heat and flame. I want to walk through the enchanting green forest that still makes my heart sing and soak in the vibrancy of growing life.

I want to celebrate this new beginning…and I want to give back to the ocean that which is no longer serving me. I want to name my sadness and call forth my courage and give thanks for my journey so far.

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