Frog Creek Lodge front porch . Feast Retreat (photo by Sasha Clements)
When I return from hosting one of my Be Present Retreats, I always struggle with how to talk about it here in this space. Capturing the truly life-changing moments with words escapes me. I seldom take photos because I am too busy with other pieces of the experience.
Feast was one of those retreats where I repeatedly found myself whispering silently, "I am home" as I moved from one moment to the next. I felt firmly rooted in knowing I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, and deeply called to circle with women more often.
On that final Sunday, just as we finished unloading the car back at my house, an email from my friend Sasha arrived. She was one of the first to leave the lodge that morning and during her time alone traveling home, she wrote a poem that captured Feast.
I stood in my studio reading these words with tears in my eyes so grateful to be on this path.
Tiny nature altar . Feast Retreat (photo by Sasha Clements)
In a basket woven of chartreuse moss,
Stitched together with needles of pine,
Bound with multicolored scarves and scraps of lace from women before,
Strengthened with reeds smoothed flat by rocks of vulnerability,
Infused with scents of rose petals and patchouli…
The glittery bits that spill out of the cracks
Of souls and hearts and minds,
Wet with tears and echoing laughter.
A white cup cushioned by a mothers gentle hand,
A white bowl still perfectly warm from the feast of nurturing kindness.
Circles of fabric and dreams,
Circles of pencil and paint,
Circles from the sea,
Circles of flickering light,
Circles of memory.
I carry it all
In the basket by my side,
In the pockets of my soul,
On the bookshelf of my mind,
In the space around my heart.
A filled up basket
Forward with me to the next journey.
All I have gathered,
All I need,
To save myself again.
- Sasha Clements
About Sasha: I am... a free-spirited wild child, tethered to the responsibilities of the real world, walking a tightrope of compromise, and searching for a sweet blend of dreams and reality.
I work a full time as a communications and project coordinator for an electric cooperative in Indiana. After 30+ years, I’m still in love with my high school sweetheart. I’m a mom to a grown son and a “G” (grandma) to a 4-year-old superhero in training. When my alter ego demands creative play, I dabble in writing, photography, food, clay, yarn, and paint.
I believe the recipe for “retreat magic” includes a lovely combination of wise and generous teachers, like-minded souls circled together, and the invitation to share the truth of your story in a safe space. I crave the nourishment this magic gives - it’s why I attend retreats.
Connect with Sasha at her blog.
And today, I'm so excited to announce that a sneak peek of the Fall Retreat, Story Excavation, is up over at the Be Present Retreats site.
Registration goes live on Wednesday, May 1 at 8 AM PST.
If you feel called to join Jen Lee, Kelly Barton, Sasha, and me on the Oregon Coast this September, please be aware that the summer retreat sold out in less than 24 hours. We don't want you to miss your spot!