Fall is always a great time to make your way through any mountain pass. The leaves are brilliant. The days offer sunshine, streaming through the forest. This weekend I was lucky enough to travel through the beautiful McKenzie River HWY to attend a retreat with my mom at Saint Benedict Lodge on the McKenzie River. The retreat was an AA/Al-a-non retreat, so I got to go and learn what it was all about, having only ever experienced Al-a-non through my mom's experiences and membership.
The chapel was one of the most beautiful I've been in, the perfect site for some meaningful meditation. There were good meals cooked by good cooks, including a turkey dinner the second night, with juicy turkey. There was a speaker we listened to over several sessions, an al-a-non meeting about boundaries. For fun there was a talent show and a chance to win fun items at a raffle. We checked out the Belknap Hot Spring during our free time, which I'd never been to before. We did a nice hike and came out into a clearing with a clear view of the Three Sisters in the distance.
I went to the retreat with an open heart. I saw/heard some cool things. I met some friendly and courageous people. I came away thinking and inspired. I was never put off by any of it, or bored. There was that, plus there was quality time with my mom. On our way up, she told me stories about drift boat trips she and my dad took near Leaburg when I was still in her belly. At night we talked late into the night.
I caught this glimpse of my mom sunning herself on the deck
I am lucky to have my mom as my example and to have had this experience with her.
PS We are constantly finding hearts everywhere we go. Check out these Ginko leaves, the heart "stamp" on the purply mushroom below, the heart indentation in the tree....love was everywhere.