Windows open to air out the house, desk covered in papers, I push them aside to savor a peach. A peach, one of many, I brought back from the Okanagan en route home from my summer week this July. I remember the experience and give thanks for the opportunity that I had to join in Qi Gong, dig my toes into the sand, and sit on the edge watching children run, peacocks jump, and seniors gather together.
For me, it was a week to engage in all-ages community. It was a week of work. It was a week of new connections. It was a week of spiritual nurture and renewal. Somehow, these seemingly disparate states managed to come together in this place and allowed me the opportunity to not only accomplish concrete tasks, but also to reflect upon the past and imagine the future. Exploring sacred space, walking the labyrinth, raking leaves, swimming across the expanse that is Lake Okanagan, and biking down the Kettle Valley Railway filled my days and left many memories which I brought home with me and which also call me back.
It was a regular summer week at Naramata Centre; people from across western Canada and beyond came from Saturday to Saturday to stay at the Centre. Many gathered together with locals and other Centre residents in program time: soul collage, rock painting, yoga, Qi gong, sacred pause, music and conversation.
There were no programs that required registration offered this week, rather anyone interested came together and brought forward program pieces and shared their gifts where they felt called to do so. Each day brought a new activity and a new way to connect with the group. Twenty, thirty, forty people gathered to imagine, sing with rEvolve, and share in a week-end potluck and closing celebration in the form of an open mic and evening of Mexican train and boccie. Weeding was a thread throughout the week as the path to the chapel was brought forth, dandelions were pulled from the labyrinth and unsolicited green growing things were picked out of the Sacred Garden. In addition, the roses were revived and the rocks were revealed. Old friends were made new and strangers found common connection.
It truly was a community week. A Naramata week. As I finish off this peach and move back to the papers on my desk, I continue to carry the flavors along with me. Both literally and figuratively. I am rejuvenated and refreshed; I am thankful for the community and opportunity to be.