After a three-year gap, we made it back to Holy Island!
Kirsty, Dameon and I travelled up to Arran a day early but there were high winds which meant we spent a day on the big island before ferrying across with Grant and the re-painted Sallyforth over to the Island on Wednesday morning.
The Island itself was just as solid and magnificent as ever, but three years had made the gardens around the Centre incredibly 'fecund', to use Kirsty's word. Roses tumbled down over mock-orange blossoms, lilies pushed up among hydrangeas. The vegetable garden heaved with delicious salads and berries. It was heavenly.
All the 25 participants managed to arrive safely. It's a long complex journey but there was no one stranded and we all started the retreat on Wednesday evening.
Beingfulness was the focus - and since this practice cultivates a sense of richness and fecundity in our inner world of senses, emotions, thoughts, and our body - the Island was the perfect place to practice.
I was actually exhausted when I arrived and we all acknowledged the pandemic had left deposits of fatigue that had not been properly processed. Usually, I climb and clamber all over the Island. But this time it was only after the retreat was over, and most people had left, that I took a big hike up to the summit and down again.
Sitting in the strong, sunny wind at the peak, I felt that familiar euphoric energy of the Island filling me up again. Three years is too long a gap, so I'm glad I get to plug into this powerful place again later in the year.
For those of you who might want to book next year's summer retreat, we haven't opened the booking yet, but you might like to pencil the dates: 22-29 July 2023