September 16, 2014: Field of Screens and First Santo Domingo Meeting Night

IMG_7941Field of hopes…field of dreams…field of screens…You know how I keep saying that we are trying to expand the eco-conscious retreat business here so that we may help support a growing, self-sustained permaculture community?  Well, keep that bookmarked in your mind, even if I don’t talk about it all the time.  Creating the marketing tools in order to spread the word is — a long process.  Fernando and I are in progress with creating a short video to describe the farm.   And at the farm, the work continues to refine our rainforest retreat for the unknown – and well known – guests to come.  A hugely important project is underway now.  The main open hall that is used for dance, movements, yoga, large gatherings, is now being fully screened in. During certain months of the year this will be especially appreciated.  The mosquitos will not fly in and buzz around your well earned Shavasana moment.  You can serenely embrace the stillness when a bell rings and you sit quietly, sharing an internal exercise with your group.  No need to swat a gnat.  This is a BIG project for many reasons, including what you can see in the pics – these are not your average sized windows and screens.  Jose, Hubby and others have been working on building the screen frames as you can see, above.

IMG_7943Jose is holding the frame here, and you can see the oversized window sections behind him.  With the screens, we will still be able to enjoy being surrounded by the lush, fragrant jungle and the constant flow of the river below.

IMG_7948It’s hard to even tell the difference between a finished screened window and an open window.  In this picture, the three windows on the right are now fully screened, and one on the left is still to be completed.  There is a good possibility the project could be completed by the end of this weekend, as some of the group will come up to the farm to help Jose and Hubby.

In another section of the farm, the new kitchen is quickly coming in to being, with the help of local carpenters and craftsmen that Katiuska has hired.  Other group members are painting the “River Whisper” building white and working on transforming it into the new dining room.

I kept thinking of the movie, “Field of Dreams,” this past couple of weeks of bustling building and refining.  Have you seen it? It’s good, I think you’d like it.   With Kevin Costner, something about him having a vision that he needs to build a baseball field in the middle of his cornfield.  “if you build it, he will come.”  So here are a bunch of us at the farm, sawing, building, painting, cooking, planting…Katiuska and Jose have been doing this with the group for years, lovingly growing a sacred place that could be the home for a self-sustained community, for group members and guests who wish to experience an unforgettable retreat/seminar of their lives, for the outlying community to have better income and organic farming options…

The attention on building continues.  If you build it…

On a completely different note::::: OMG!  Our family went into Santo Domingo yesterday to attend our first group meeting that happens every Monday night in the city where most of the group members live.  Whoa!  Katiuska swears it doesn’t usually rain like that in the city.  But, just for last night, just when we and everyone else were on their way to the meeting place, there was a rainstorm of such proportion that it was insane, comical and surreal getting to the house.  We’d also never been there before, so with our trusty Google Map app, we departed from a very cozy, modest hotel an hour before the meeting was scheduled to begin, even though we were an “Eight Minute Drive” away, according to the map.  I like to add several times the amount of estimated time to anywhere that I am going, just because I’ve learned that’s how it goes, especially with a foreign country…in a typhoon (or whatever you’d call that?)…in a flooded city…Yes, basically the city was flooded.  When we were close to the house yet completely lost, Katiuska called on my cell phone, concerned that we might have a little trouble finding the house since you couldn’t see thru the rain, and a truck was blocking the driveway.  When I told her we were at a large banyon tree on a triangle, she said, “I know where you are..I’ll come and get you…” and she led us to the house.  Given our 60 minute window, we were right on time:) Quite a few other friends came in late – or didn’t make it – I’m afraid to even ask if they tried.  I hope you made it back home!

It was an outstanding introduction to our first Santo Domingo meeting.  The wildest, craziest storm, and then we gather together for two hours, collected in a large meeting room, practicing movements, working together on exercises and observations.  Jose’s gentle suggestions interspersed with occasional direct bulls-eye of seeing right through to the other side of the world through you moments.  Sofia and Michelle, tired yet amazingly patient nearby, eventually falling asleep on pillows as we delve deeper into a particular theme.

On the way to meet the group, as we plowed through the streets and watched cars hit cars and people with umbrellas falling into hidden ditches, I said something to Hubby like, “None of this would make any sense, if we weren’t on our way to a place that we really, really value on a spiritual level…”

Yet it does make sense.  This morning, the four of us took an early drive back up into the hills so that Sofia and Michelle could make it to school by 7:45.  I’m not sure if you’ve read my long-winded account of my rainbow theme, and seeing one of the most divine rainbows in Royalston at the end of my first seminar with Jose?  Well, this morning, guess what?  The Same Rainbow came to guide us back up the mountain.  At first, there was a very unusual “stick” as Michelle called it, an actual vertical line of a rainbow going from the earth straight up into the clouds.  Then as we drove around a curve, the rainbow opened up into an enormous, complete arc filling half the sky from one end to the other.

I didn’t need a “sign” to feel okay about all of this.  I didn’t have to have a rainbow miracle to convince me that the effort to get our bum-bums down from the farm to meet with the group – or to move from the USA to an off the grid rainforest – that this effort is worth it, that it has meaning on so many levels that I don’t even yet know what they are.

But I have to admit, it was really really cool and like, “Hi Five, God!” to have the morning rainbow join us.

A special shout out of love to the Camp Caravan friends up in Royalston..this rainbow is for you folks, too…it was there for all of us last summer.    We hold you all in our hearts, and especially Rise today.  To everyone, may we all share in the gifts of peace, love, happiness, health, safety and goodness.  Everyone. xoxo

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