22 January 2013

Retreat Day


My daughter and her family are away today so I'm taking a retreat day to myself. I've hiked to the top of a nearby hill where there's a palm roofed structure open on all sides to shelter in out of the sun and occasional showers. The only sound is the wind and all it rustles and birds galore whose names I mostly don't know except for the peculiar echoing knock of a bell bird. The layers of hills in the distance display all shades of green in this lush rain forest environment. The breeze goes from warm against my skin to cool as the clouds scurry in to drop their rain and move on over the next ridge. Bits of wild flowers dot the area with color. Two old copper pots, huge and once used to roast cacao beans on now abandoned estates, are filled with water, small fish and water lilies to give them new purpose. A stream flowing down in a waterfall froths over rocks at its base in a gully by the house on this property. A flock of wild parrots  flies by squawking ferociously, voices so at odds with their beautifully colored plumage.

I've come to be alone and ask questions that need to be re-examined near my birthday. Who am I, what do I want to be doing, where do I want to be? The other vital question of with whom do I want to be has long since been answered, a sure base of love in my life. I realize in the tranquility I feel that the questions are being answered in deep ways that will become manifest as I pay attention to myself, my Honey and what opens up to us. Already I've felt the shift into an elder's identity, still on the journey but further along and in communication with more elder peers.

The morning blue sky has given way to afternoon gray. Clouds moved in and I can hear rain in the distance as it closes the gap between where it is and me. The rain is more immediate here as it pelts the fronds just over my head. As rain quickly slows, fog spills over the hills in back of me looking like it comes from the clouds themselvesthemselves. It's a lovely place. Its peace flows into me. I realize that this was the real agenda for today.


(I'm publishing this today even though it happened a few days ago because I just finished putting it all together. Such days are delightfully re-creative.)











15 comments:

  1. I do think that when one is alone and walking in nature it is a good time to be reflective on the important things of life. I ask the same question: What do I want to be doing? Ha, when I was a teen-ager or in my twenties, I never would have dreamed at my age now I would STILL be asking the question. I am glad I do though, that I have not decided to vegetate on my couch (ha); and I keep seeking, as you do. I can't quite feel 'elder' though. And too many 'elders' I see or know are too 'elder' for me when I am still wanting adventure rather than to be one who sits and imparts sage-like wisdom. Ha.

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    1. I'm still wanting adventure as well, Mary. Hence living in Italy and traveling in Europe. I'm 67 in a few days and it's still important to me to be contributing in a real way by doing that which I love. It changes because of our age and stage but the question endures and the search for deeper meaning.

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  2. a beautiful place to shut out the outside voices and ask the real questions..i think it's important to ask them every once and a while...re-thinking the path we walk and how we walk it and where we want it to lead us...beautiful pictures...they made me sigh...smiles

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    1. Birthday time seems like the logical choice especially since I'm here in the rain forest. Even after 10 years coming here, beautiful photos fill my camera each time.

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  3. nice...wonderful pictures...some dangerous questions you are pondering there as well...though very necessary as well....that way you can adjust course as you need...and for me a retreat to nature is always the way to go to do that...smiles

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    1. Nature aids the process by adjusting down my speed and clueing me into what's real. And the rain forest has its special charms.

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  4. Quite a contrast with the manicured gardens of Italy! I'd be spoiled in this environment, giving in to the gentle breeze and the sounds of animals all around. I'd want to jump in the water and float off to somewhere.
    Are you getting much swimming?
    Are you staying much longer?
    And since you mentioned a birthday, Happy, Happy day! I celebrate my 72nd this weekend with a crab feast and tiramisu. How are you celebrating?

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    1. Yes, it's wild and beautiful here. I've been swimming in both the river nearby and the ocean about 12 miles from here. Both lovely but the sea is my favorite. I'll be here until the 9th of Feb and then 10 days in FL before returning home. Thanks for the b'day wishes and right back at you! I wish you blessings of good health and peace in this year. I'm right behind you at 67 which still seems strange!

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    2. Oh, I'm celebrating by having a bon fire in our yard, fudge brownies made by the grands and a trip to a waterfall I haven't seen led by my daughter. Should be fun.

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  5. Lovely, Mar. I'm supporting an elderly neighbor--80, much older than you--and wish she had some of this tranquility and seeking attitude as the changes of advancing age challenge her. I wish you every blessing on your birthday and always.

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    1. It is my wish and intention to develop this attitude always. Thanks for the b'day blessings.

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  6. Sounds like you've been pretty great in the life you've created so far! Lovely. k.

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    1. I love my life and want to be able to keep saying that.

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  7. What a great use of "the coco palace" for photos, writing, thinking and meditating on important life questions. I'm so glad to be one of your answers!
    Happy birthday my love!

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    1. My first answer, my best answer- I love you!

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