This weekend I sneaked away to my spinning group's semiannual retreat. I purposely ignored my email, computer and other pressing issues while I rejuvenated myself in the woods with kindred souls.
Our spring retreat is held at beautiful Silver Falls State Park. They have a lovely, rustic conference center with cabins, shared facilites, a dining hall and nature! On the drive in to the conference center you find yourself breathing more deeply and becoming more relaxed as the trees work their magic.
When you walk through these mossy woods, your footsteps are muffled by a thick carpet of bark and needles and moss, while all around you is the sound of birdsong and water rushing and dancing through stones. The trees here are mossy and alien, dripping with lifeform upon lifeform. It never fails to amaze and delight me. The trees feel like old souls with the wisdom of patience and quiet.
While we were there we shared the conference grounds with another group, who were Tibetan buddhist practitioners. What a lovely place for a meditation retreat. We mostly saw them at mealtimes when the dining hall was loud and lively. But, on the last day, they stopped in to our hall to see our work with wool and wheel. One woman from our group made a gift of a spindle to a lady from Bhutan. She smiled and immediately demonstrated her expert ability. We gave her some colorful wools and enjoyed our cultural exchange.
On the way home, I headed north through the park instead of going back south the way I came in. As I headed toward Silverton, Winter Falls lived up to its name, and once again my heart was singing with the snow.
I didn't take any photos of our happy group indoors. You'll just have to trust me that inside those rustic cabins and halls a lot of beautiful spinning got done as we told jokes, laughed and enjoyed chocolate.
Now I'm home and it's back to work for me, but the week ahead seems lighter with Silver Falls in my heart.