A Parting Gift

The weather changed quickly, on my final day of the getaway weekend. Yesterday’s threat of snow became a reality overnight. I am extremely grateful that at the last minute, a decision was made for Greg to drop me off at my destination Friday, and pick me up today. Otherwise, I would have been stuck. The lake house I was staying in is at the bottom of a hill with a steep driveway. I would not have been able to navigate it today. Greg was able to park atop the hill and walk down.

Although the heavy wet snow created hazardous driving conditions, it was pretty to watch from the windows. While waiting for Greg to arrive, I spent my last morning packing up, writing and coloring.

This beautiful house, called Avalon Landing, was the perfect place for my personal retreat. It contained all that I needed, and delightful surprises, such as the fireplace. Curious, as I always am, I looked up the word Avalon. I associate it with the King Arthur legends. It is an island in that story. The name originates from an Old Welsh word meaning “fruit bearing”.

How perfect. This time away, unplugged, has borne much fruit in my life already. Here at Avalon, I gave my imagination freedom to play. Ideas were developed. Dreams fleshed out. Games played. Rest received. Long soaks in the tub enjoyed. Meditation practiced. I wrote. I read. I colored. My heart and soul expanded. I rewrote a part of my personal story and let go of an old story. More about some of these things later.

I received one more precious gift before I left.

Yesterday, as I engaged in an ongoing conversation with the Divine, I noticed paintings and photos and artwork that had significance for me. Songs played that connected to my life. The tv turned off on its own when a scene I didn’t want to see began to play. It was a magical day.

As I walked through the house, exploring every room, open to receiving messages, I also deliberately looked for one particular item…a feather. The feather quill is my symbol for this year. Finding a feather is a sign that spirit is near. I could not find a one anywhere…not as art, or on a book or magazine cover, nor could I find an actual feather. None were found. And I was okay with that. I let the idea go.

This morning, on my way to the kitchen, directly in my path on the floor, lay a feather…a real feather. I don’t know where it came from. There aren’t any down filled pillows or comforters in the house. I didn’t see it yesterday or last night. And yet here it was, placed where I could not miss it.

My heartbeat quickened as I picked it up and cradled it. I looked for a feather yesterday. This morning the Divine said, Here you go…

A brown feather symbolizes earthiness, and the comforts of home…coziness, safety, warmth and a sense of nurturing. Had I not experienced those very things here? That sweet little feather spoke so deeply to my heart.

I am heard. I am seen. I am loved.

What an amazing weekend. What an incredible parting gift.

Wrapped in Love

This has been such a joyful and restorative day. Every action I have taken has had one purpose…to practice deep self care. I have, quite literally, wrapped myself in love.

Here are pictorial highlights of my day.

I brought in all my own food. Everything is organic, healthy, and easily prepared. Being able to cook for myself is at the core of my self care, and the reason I wanted a full kitchen on site for this personal retreat. Breakfast was simple…sliced bananas and cara cara oranges, and a cup of hot Scottish breakfast tea with a splash of unsweetened almond coconut milk.

The gorgeous kitchen I have been preparing meals in today.

And below, the equally gorgeous view out the dining room windows and sliding door.

I spent the morning reading, writing and thinking, sitting wherever I felt drawn to sit. This oversized chair made a comfy writing spot.

Lunch was a light and refreshing orange, green olive and avocado salad, a recipe I picked up from Anthony William. It was so delicious! The flavors complemented each other marvelously.

I kept being pulled to the windows, overlooking the lake. I stepped outside a couple of times, but with a high in the 20s today, it seemed too cold to linger. Nevertheless, on one of my wanderings outside, I brushed ice out of a rocker. Perhaps tomorrow, I thought.

As I was reading this afternoon, the clouds cleared away and the sun shone brightly. It didn’t raise the temps, but I could no longer resist. I pulled on my warm boots and grabbed my soft, wooly blanket and headed out onto the deck. The rocking chair was ice free and sitting full in the sun.

The sunlight danced on the water and filtered through the tree branches to bathe my face. I closed my eyes and sun gazed, and colors then danced on my eyelids.

This is me. Unplugged. No make up. Wrapped in love. The air was so cold that it made my nose tingle to inhale. However, the fresh frostiness was invigorating. And the blanket kept me warm.

After a time of meditating and writing in front of a crackling fire, which felt especially good after sitting outside, I prepared another recipe of Anthony’s for dinner. Aloo Matar, an Indian dish, is such a fragrant and comforting meal. It contains homey potatoes, onions and peas in a mild tomato based curry.

I have been excited all day about preparing this recipe for the first time. I was not disappointed. It was excellent! I am even more excited that I have enough left over for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Day two of my weekend getaway is winding down. I’ll sip on a cup of hot turmeric milk soon, while I relax in the soaking tub. And then perhaps I will color for a while. However I choose to end the day, it will be absolutely perfect.

Cindy Unplugged

This afternoon marked the beginning of my long weekend getaway. I have been full of anticipation for this mini retreat, and now it is here. I am going to unplug during these four days, from my phone, from other people, from television and business and everything, really, except listening to my body, conversing with the Divine, and allowing my imagination and daydreaming the freedom to expand.

I packed a minimal amount of clothing, intending to wear comfy lounging clothes primarily. However, I brought along a variety of journals and notebooks, a Love Your Life Workbook, colored pencils and coloring books, a sketchbook and a couple of books to read, if the desire to do so arises. Because I will be cooking nutritious meals while I am here, I filled three large shopping bags with food. Overall, I packed less when I traveled to Europe for 12 days!

I will be posting in my blog daily, because this is a commitment I have made with myself. However, they will be brief, and photo heavy.

The house I am staying in is beautiful and perfect for my needs. I can see the lake from the large windows in the dining area and kitchen.

I am grateful for the windows, because although there are two large decks overlooking the lake, the cold temperatures will keep me inside. I hope to walk down to the lake at least once while I am here.

I created a wish list for the location of my weekend away. I wanted a view of water, a deck, a full kitchen, and privacy. This house has it all, and I am extremely grateful.

It also has something that I did not know I wanted…a wood burning fireplace.

Greg, who dropped me off this afternoon, and lugged in all of my bags, graciously took the time to start a fire for me. He also provided pine logs that are easy to ignite and will burn for hours. I pulled two chairs together to form a great lounging area. Piled with pillows, and a soft fluffy blanket to curl up under, this has been the space where I kicked off my weekend. I had tea and gluten, dairy and sugar free scones here. I wrote in my workbook. I meditated. I stared into the fire and felt every muscle in my body relax as I was serenaded by the soothing sound of a crackling fire.

What incredible bliss. And what a beautiful gift is this weekend, this time and this gorgeous space. I am grateful for it all, including the thing I didn’t know I would enjoy so much. I am smiling about the unexpected gift of the fireplace. I am unplugged, and undone.