This year started with a weekend retreat enjoying time with new friends at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center. It was that weekend that I decided to return and volunteer at the center monthly whenever possible.
So far this year I have had the pleasure of Karma Yoga cleanup and prepping for meal. Both were wonderful experiences with the benefit of participating in classes, mediations and enjoying nature.
This past weekend volunteers gathered to share in cleaning cabins and preparing the garden for planting. All furniture was pulled out of the cabins and then each cabin was cleaned top to bottom. Furniture was then cleaned and returned to the cabins. With two volunteers assigned to each cabin it didn’t take long to finish yesterday. The afternoon and this morning were spent enjoying working the earth in the garden to prepare for the seedlings.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ~Mahatma Gandhi~
The meals were delicious and well deserved by all. New friends were met and existing relationships were strengthened as we came together for karma yoga. It is amazing what can be accomplished when a group of people come together to share in loving service.
Of course, my camera was nearby for some nature photos. Love capturing some hidden treasures.
While exploring this little greenery was discovered in a tree stump.
Lamb Ear decorated in morning dew, new growth on trees, and a bird’s nest above the entrance light.
Here are a few treasures hidden in the flower garden.
After cleaning out the cabin I noticed rain drops on the grass. As I was crouching down to take the photos the ‘rain’ began to rain down on me, except it wasn’t raining anywhere else. Debbie said it was only raining where I was and then we realized it wasn’t raining, there was a leak in the water line. It did result in some lovely photos. The drops of water look like crystals decorating the lawn.
Preparing the garden was quick work when you have several volunteers pitching in. The ground is ready for planting in another couple of weeks and the seedlings are being prepared in the green house. These photos were from Saturday so the rest of the crew are missing from the photos.
While on break I took a little walk to the waterfall and on the way stopped when I noticed the unfurling of the ferns. They are amazing to witness. Along with the fern were an assortment of flowers of many sizes. Then, with some patience, I sat and tried to capture bumblebees with their constant movement on my camera. It was a pleasure watching them buzzing in a swarm, as they enjoyed the spring weather after a long cold winter. After focusing and waiting patiently I was able to captured a couple in flight. It was a nice way to practice mindfulness. Time seemed to stop while I focused.
Nature is something to be treasures for ourselves and future generations. Everything in nature seems harmonious and interconnected.
“Not a single bee has ever sent you an invoice. And that is part of the problem – because most of what comes to us from nature is free, because it is not invoiced, because it is not priced, because it is not traded in markets, we tend to ignore it.”
– Pavan Sukhdev, United Nations report, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.
Overall it was a wonderful weekend filled with friends, meditation, gardening, cleaning, good food and nature. This morning, before the short-lived thunder-storm, I had the privilege of providing one of the volunteers with a Therapeutic Touch (TT) session near a tree. It was an interesting experience for both of us and I hope to provide more treatments in nature. It is a perfect place for clients to feel grounded and release their anxieties and stressors in life. During the storm another guest had a treatment in the freshly cleaned library. Providing TT sessions was another highlight of the weekend.
Remember in nature, as with life, there are many hidden treasures if you take time to look a little closer. That person who may seem to rub you the wrong way may be a hidden gem in your life if you slow down and take time to get to know them on a deeper level. As with the camera – go from the macro lens to the micro in every area of your life and you will never have a dull moment in life. You may even learn something about yourself.
Love and Light!