I finally made it to the mountains.
As the drive across Kansas ended, Colorado’s front range came into far distant view. I wept. Through Owl Canyon and then into the Shambhala Mountain Center at Red Feather Lakes, tears pooled. It felt so silly and so…well-like the tears had waited a long time to come.
Gratitude. Sniffy soggy gratitude.
During the retreat orientation and yoga sessions, we were asked to set an intention for the weekend. I came prepared and had mine ready; I wanted to draw a line in the sand of what-was-before between who I am now.
Besides the obvious desire of leaping from stone to stone over the high hills north of Fort Collins, I had also intended to be silent and contemplative. But the people were so interesting! Sport franchise owners, nurses, insurance salesmen, mentors, students, authors, farmers, day laborers, fathers, mums, daughters, and sons assembled – awkwardly at first – in search of renewal.
Such people. I haven’t giggled with strangers that much since hitch-hiking and climbing over Berchesgarten. They taught so much – especially when they were unaware of their words’ potential impact.
Saturday and Sunday, I enjoyed 1.5 – 2 hour solo adventures while the Center slept and the morning sun scaled the mountains. I hiked up hidden trails, over red and lichened boulders, and stopped to investigate wildflowers, bugs, cairns, stones, water, natural steps, elk tracks, pine cones, and any other thing the average five-year old would wish to see.
Did I have an epiphany? Did the heavens reach through the mountain morning and lay out a plan for the next step of Graduate School or more?
But I watched two birds make their home in the central gathering place while we pretzeled and quieted below.
While downward-dogging (yoga), I noticed an elk lumber by the garden that helps to feed staff and participants.
A chipmunk visited our dorm room for a summer siesta (or fiesta…)
There were high peaks discovered and higher peaks yet to climb.
Silver bells and flags revealed the wind a mindful musician.
Evenings had us bundled up under a navy and cloud-mottled sky.
Fawns and their watchful mum wandering through camp.
Surprises in the woods (was that a bear?).
Flags sending their constant prayers into the wind.
Stretching of all kinds.
I would not have changed a thing.
Those tears returned as I drove down the mountain and to the welcoming home of a wise friend and her family.
After a Monday morning exploring Ft. Collins’ Old Town, I turned the blue Vibe towards Kansas…home again.
Back to work. Back to laundry. Onward into the lesser known.
A line had been crossed.
It’s up to me to stay on this side of it.
That is enough epiphany for today.