My view is Lake Huron’s swiftly moving waters, brilliant blue against a landscape of green – Round Island, the long lawn of Mission Point Resort here on Mackinac Island, and the vast possibilities of being in nature, surrendering to nature, giving everything over to be who I am meant to be.
I am so happy here. Literally, on the island, in the not-too-hot northern summer, by the waterside.
Metaphorically, too, I am happy here – teaching writing, leading wonderful souls in authentic exploration of who they are and what they are meant to gift to the world.
What a gift to be able to offer my talents to others and craft a path, loose gravel and dust kicking up, for others to walk, timidly, humbly, toward finding their depths.
This journey of life is a complicated one. At times, we seem like we have it all clear and figured out. Do this job, live in this city, marry this person.
And other times, those very same decisions turn upside-down, disappointing, lacking, leading to utter misery.
Except all of these decisions are internal ones. I cannot be happy or sad from a job; only from how I let myself interact with it. So, too, with a husband, a city, a meal, a child. None of these external factors has anything to do with my ultimate happiness or redemption.
If I believe my path is other than that which I walk, I will be discontent. If, instead, I believe this moment is mine for a reason, then it doesn’t matter what happens in it. It is mine, my unique journey, and I am on it to divine the lights and messages of truth.
Sounds pretty spiritual, doesn’t it?
All from a lunch of Lake Huron whitefish and field greens, shaded from bright glorious sun reflecting off the soft current of the deep lake ahead.
A retreat for the lovely participants who have come with me this week is time and space set aside to be free with yourself. To reconnect with your truth. To know your path.
A retreat for someone like me who plans and leads it is an exercise in compassion and talent. I can organize a curriculum, set an itinerary, order the appetizers for a wine reception last night where we sat around a table, sipping wine, eating fruit and cheese, vegetable bruschetta, spring rolls and mini wellingtons.
But the magic that weaves between people here, and within them, is something that spins out of the time and space I hold, a precious gem, a glittering diamond polished clean from its dusty dark origins.
As I sat down to write this blog, one retreat participant came up and asked to sit beside me. Of course, I said, knowing my space is a shared space this week, and I am happy to facilitate that.
I was hesitant to come here, she told me. But I am so glad I did. And I would come again. You do a great job of holding the space, of guiding each person. I am so glad to be here.
What more do I need to hear?
As I slowly walked in the 61-degree morning quiet to the lawn for yoga earlier today, I recited the Hebrew prayer Modah Ani aloud, thanking God for giving me another beautiful day.
And then I prayed. I prayed out loud in a way that I have not done in such a long time. I offered gratitude and thanks, absolute ecstasy and bliss, for this day, this place, the opportunity to gather amazing people together under my leadership and learn from them as they learn from each other.
I was just so very thankful. What a great way to start a day.