i took a trip of solitude to the mountains of Northern Arkansas this past June.
there's a monastery tucked away deep in the hills.
they also own an Inn of sorts down the road, or around the way, or up the bend.. whichever.
you're in virtual seclusion, and that's what mattered.
only $35 a night for a comfortable room, no TV, view of heaven, peace & quiet, full access to their kitchen, cozy library, and most noteworthy...permission to play their old piano.
before i left i had a long list of do's and don'ts.
i wanted to eat only organic, i wanted to finish at least 2 books, i wasn't going to get on the internet, etc.
as i was driving off, i took my list and threw it out of the window.
i felt liberated.
i'd never taken a trip like this before.
it was a time to spend with just ME to reflect, heal, and have fun.
i didn't want to have any set rules because if they got broken,
i might feel bad.
and i didn't want to chance feeling even the slightest tinge of disappointment during such a lovely and special occasion.
Raw Honey i bought from a mom & pop store in the mountains.
i discovered that Wheat Thins are really tasty dipped in it. sweet n salty meets gooey/crunchy.
i took this little book by my favorite author Kent Nerburn.
sub-titled "Living in the Spirit of the Prayer of St. Francis".
little did i know there would be a St. Francis retreat at the same place i was lodging a few days after i arrived.
also, i last saw the retreat's teacher, musician/monk John Michael Talbot, when i was a pre-teen. we were at an organic garden where they were dedicating a St. Francis statue.
John Michael stood in the middle of a field playing guitar and
every sheep in that field stood erect like ivory statues, watching him play.
it was a holy sight, indeed.
JMT was part of the 70's country-rock band Mason Profitt before his spiritual enlightenment, so he'd acquired a decent fan base throughout the years.
the crowd, made up of small families, hippies, musicians, and other granola-esqe people, relaxed on blankets and quilts and watched the show. i can still feel the atmosphere. perfect Fall time weather. the smell of green.
i remember feeling extra alive.
synchronicity couldn't be ignored.
i ended up staying for the St. Francis retreat too.