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Day 51: Looking Back, Forward

The final retreat for my Fire & Water cohort journey begins this Wednesday, concluding Sunday June 12th. This marks a formal conclusion of a 16-month-long process that will obviously continue to unfold. Threshold, ordeal, and return—as I learned on the Mountain—always cycles through again and again in a human life. I’ll be off the grid, so this week’s posts will be the scheduled-automatic sort. I’ve treated myself to a couple enjoyable (for me) archive-memories from the last several years. But these first few offer opportunity for me to reminisce a little more intentionally as I prepare my Presentation of Learnings for cohort-friends to receive and offer witness.

The journey began with an online-Zoom retreat in March 2021, still amidst more stringent COVID cautions. I reserved an AirBnB close to the Ohio River, so to be ‘away on retreat’ though all sessions were on Zoom. It was a good choice, and set the space with intention for me. Neither here nor there, but I remember just learning about NoOats for the time away—low-carb ‘oatmeal’ made of chia seeds, almond flour, walnuts and such. I’ve since learned how to make my own ‘brand’ of it. Funny what we remember.

The second retreat—December 2021—was the first time most of us were in the same circle-room and physically-presenced space(s). Two from my small group elected not to attend, with one of them withdrawing completely shortly after the retreat. It was good to see the others from my small group AND I felt more at ease with the larger group as a whole. My learnings were still unfolding for small group things.

This time, I’m eager to return to Hope Springs Institute, the retreat center whose energies resonated so fully within me as I arrived that first time last December. I’m curious what it will feel like to be in the physically-presenced space with cohort-friends, some of whom are now much more deeply intertwined with my own path, listening, spirit. I’ve been writing off and on for the last couple days, specifically to the Presentation of Learnings questions/invitations. I’m surprised by some of what is arising—how it’s coming into speech/words for me—and pleased to be in this part of the journey.

I can’t tell whether it’s because formal affiliation with WWfaC is drawing to a close that I feel anticipations of new, summer, More…or whether this feeling of anticipation is about Fire&Water formally concluding…? It’s not been heavy to carry, for the most part, though parts were hard at the start. I know I will grieve the felt-sense of ending, welcoming the wisdom of just-beginning again.

But today I bow to this sense of anticipation, curiosity, pleasure, satisfaction… I’m continuing to receive from my investment/expenditures of this journey. I’m enjoying what I get to offer. May my heart remain open to all I want to see, don’t want to see, get to learn in these retreat days.

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