Action-packed barely describes our Memorial Day weekend. Though, I suppose when you’re toting around a wiggly, enthusiastic and energetic toddler, anything is action-packed.
Since I was 12 years old, every year on Memorial Day weekend, I have been going to a weekend retreat in Lyle, Washington. I’ve definitely missed a year here or there, whether I was in Honduras or Finland. But I’ve gone through extraordinary measures to get there, like the year before last when I went straight there after getting home from a flight back to the States from Israel. Pregnant.
There is really no reason for all this fuss except that Windstock - the name of the retreat - is a gathering of friends, many of whom are Baha’is, that has succeeded in engaging in a new kind of culture. One that is spiritually uplifting, free of hierarchy and dogma, encouraging of genuine growth and responsibility, and infused with music and the arts. It rarely gets better than that.
Hopefully it will, in our own neighborhoods, over time. This weekend away in the woods on the other side of the Gorge serves as a reminder of what I think most of us would like to wake up to every morning, of every day.
Participants camp it out. No showers, no actual bathrooms. But amaaaazing food.
The log cabin belonging to the hosting family. This place is an oasis of comfort and love.
It was the first year taking Jasper! We tried to prepare by having a few of his favorite toys within reach. Apparently, giant lego blocks are not only Jasper’s favorites. This worked for a good chunk of time, but inevitably Alex and I did a lot of walking around the property, investigating bugs and flowers. The rest of the gathering was engaging in classes with one of our favorite people, a woman wise, joyful, humorous, and who won’t let you get away from her without a giant hug.
On Sunday, every year, the group heads over to Horse Thief Lake Park. Quite the story in that name, I think.
Everyone was so kind and loving with Jasper. He had the best time….grabbing onto other people’s toys.
And then returning the favor by doing amusing things like near-hand stands in search of said toy.
We came home a little early, with some stuff to take care of, and some down-time needed for the babe.
We love each other. A lot.
As you can see, he was tiiiiiiired. :)