of the dark
~ ee cummings ~
Call of the Wild soul retreat in Somerset, England
This is view of the most lovely window in my room at Croydon Hall where I stayed whilst teaching at the Wild Soul retreat. When I arrived in England my Aunt Francine, Uncle Philip and cousin Una (*waves happily*) took me out for a fine English brunch of Guinness beer and fish and chips. Add a bottle of fine red wine and creme caramal and lots of laughter to that and I was a goner. A bit of a tipsy goner at that.
And then my family drove me far into the Somerset countryside along winding roads enveloped in rolling hills and endless sky all the way to Croydon Hall.
As I sit here typing I remember the shining crisp autumn air and the heavenly sensation that I was flying into the fullness of something riverly and sprouting. When something is really beautiful I tend to feel this way and have no hesitation naming it.
Riverly. Sprouting. Clamoring for sure.
Somerset is a most excellent place to get into mischief. Within hours of arriving I embarked on a little wandering and opened a door along a lane which led into a secret garden filled with wild roses and a very large, old greenhouse. The windows were cracked and inside tomato plants clamored all over the place with twitching flowers and other wonderfully creeping things.
Later I was told that a very reclusive man lives here and doesn't like visitors at all and the next day the door was locked when I tried to go back and beg permission to bring my class along for a photo shoot.
It made me sad to think that all this singing beauty aflutter was hidden away from the world. Still. There was nothing reclusive about his love for beautiful things and somehow this gladdened my heart.
And then I found this magical place. Curvingly magnificent, leaping mirthful air, a keen bright day. I couldn't wait for the Wild Soul retreat to begin and that very afternoon I made a pot of Asam tea in my room and wrote in my journal, my pen skimming the pages so quickly as if I was talking rapidly outloud with excitement.
r e w i l d i f l y i n g
And then everyone began to arrive.
I am not at all surprised that Erin Faith Allen's Wild Soul retreat soul out. Well, not only sold out, but oversold. She couldn't turn anyone away as the numbers kept rising, everyone so eager to join her light of community and sow some wild billowing seeds. Women in their 20's to their 60's sharing love, vitality, wisdom, seeding possibilities, forging friendships and collaborations.
This is a portrait I took of Katariina Fagering ~
on a photo safari in my workshop. I felt an arrowing instant connection with this magical artist and am convinced we were friends in a former life. Everything about her is yellow, sprouting trees, and a flutter of silver stars.
Katariina gave the opening speach at Wild Soul and brought everyone to their knees as she offered a portal to connect with one another with a tender exercise to truly see the soul in our partner.
A whole lot of soulfire in this woman. Hugeness.
Why does the world seem so fresh and possible when a tribe of woman gather together and share their stories? Especially in a circle of creativity in the affirmative knowing that they really are not alone. We all have our tender pains, our deep longings, our unexplored gifts just waiting to be shared with one another in a wholesome, uplifting kindred circle. It is what sets us free.
this is Becky Swain ~ wild swan yoga teacher at the retreat getting all feral with the landscape ~ I followed her around in my workshop camera on the ready, completely besotted with her sweet presence and berry beautiful beret.
lost ~ something tall and certain, solong
found ~ a stallion with wings
lost ~ petals of ego
found ~ howling self love
Recently I watched 'The Best Marigold Hotel' yet again and was struck with a line 'blue sky thinking.'
Erin's retreat is all about Love, Connection and Blue Sky Thinking.
Everything becomes possible and bright surrounded by a loving tribe that really see you for who you are.
Room to breathe. Tribe. Creativity. (our stories in piles of sketches, polaroids, paintings)
the gesture of wings
~ in the past few months Erin has birthed a retreat attracting women from all over the world (and some husbands came along as well with little ones!)
She also birthed a baby girl, Poppy Isis, just barely a few days old when we arrived for her Wild Soul retreat. Thank goodness Erin's husband Simon jumped into the flames of wild soul so that baby Poppy could connect with all that fierce Mama love.
Seriously? I cannot believe the honor of teaching in a fold with Teesha Moore, Orly Avineri , and Flora Bowley.
All weekend long everyone was marching around with sketches and journals and piles of colorful paintings. Most happy making I must say.
Erin has some serious magic brewing for a spectacular retreat coming up ~ already most of the Wild Soul Women have added their name to a list for this retreat which will be announced soon.
Keep your eyes peeled here for updates and here.
I feel like jumping up and down I am so excited!
Well, I am off to enjoy a bowl of porridge, eat tangerines and stare at the sunrise.
l o v e
Whilst at the retreat I brought my class on a meander up a hill and we chanced upon a beautiful thatched cottage with a sweeping view and magical garden. The owner, a man in his late 70's generously invited us to wander and photograph his little kingdom.
Later he mentioned we might wish to visit the Parsonage and have tea as his sweetheart 'Jane' would be working in the teahouse.
'Oh!' I exclaimed! 'You have a sweetheart! Tell me, one word, why do you love your Jane?'
The man smiled, did not skip a beat and looked at me as if I had lost my marbles.
'Love!' he said as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.
Which it was of course. Read more about Dear John Turner here...