Rose and I did a walk up towards the hills around the area this morning before breakfast. Before our workshop began I took a few photos of the grounds for my memories.
The theme for the beginning of our activities today was fire. We did movements that explored the elements (earth, water, fire, and air). Then we were given the opportunity to choose the element that we felt the closest to today or that moved us in some way. The wind was blowing in the trees. I realized that I was much more tired than I had thought. The parrots were talking and flying from tree to tree.
I started to move around and the breeze continued to blow. I don’t think that I really chose my element, but instead realized that I was being air and wind. We chose partners and shared in dyads. Then we danced some more. In the large group we each shared our thoughts about which element we were at the moment.
Susanna had us form two concentric circles with the people who went to the Lament on the inside circle. We faced each other, danced, and then grouped into dyads and triads making sure that there was at least one person from each group with us. Each person had a chance to non-verbally share their experience from last night with movement. Finally we formed one large circle and anybody who wanted to walked around the circle telling the story of their experience. This was another example of the community building that Susanna and Betsy are so adept at accomplishing.
We then drove to a riverbed where there was a giant Red River Gum tree. Betsey and Susanna prepared for today’s ceremony while I stood in absolute awe of the tree.
Our group began to gather around the tree. The enormity of this incredible tree was overwhelming.
We sat in a circle while Susanna and Betsy told stories.
My tiredness hit a wall. I think it was a very good time for sleep to overcome me because when I asked Rose to tell me about the stories later, she said they were mostly biblical stories.
I awoke in time for when Susanna was doing a communion ceremony. I was reminded of the Camino and, of course, I participated.
Then we gathered close to the tree to bless the tree. Betsey invited us to climb onto the tree. Yes, I wanted to do that. I love this tree.
We then had some time to just spend with the tree. It was not enough time. Each part of this tree is so spectacular. The branches were expanded over our heads.
Here are a few close up photos of parts of the trunk and branches.
When we were going back to the bus, I took a photo of another incredible Ghost Tree.
It is so difficult to put into words the spirituality of this place.
After our free time we gathered again. Betsy again awed us with her story telling. Today’s story was about Hildegard.
The wind was blowing and the trees branches were dancing over our heads.
I absolutely loved the afternoon session. We were asked to be quiet for about 15 minutes (meditating); then move around by ourselves,; be quiet again; move with a partner. It was the most playful, childlike movement time I have had so far.
I am not remembering the exact words that Susanna used to describe what we were to do in the next activity but it was something like, “Get with a partner and find a way to lean into each other so that you are being supported and supporting.” We did this with several different people. Susanna asked us to try letting go of the support and finding it again over and over. I loved this part.
Our dinner tonight was around the fire pit. David made Damper in the fire pit. We gathered in a circle around the fire for a sharing meeting. It was close to sunset time so I shared with the group about Rosh Hashanah. I wish Shanah tovah to all my friends and family.
Susanna asked us each to share “What is our passion? What is it that lights our fire?” It was a fabulous sharing messing. I loved hearing from each person in the group.
Then a group of us went to a laser light show in town. It was not what I expected. Yes, lights were being shown on McDonnall mountainside. But the interesting part was the light show of the Aboriginal artists work. We were able to dance on a carpet of lights depicting several different artist’s work as a tape was being played of them explaining the piece.
There were lit up displays explaining telling about the Aboriginal People and their art.
These are photos of art being displayed on material that was flowing like a petticoat. This art work is more in the style of Albert Namatjira and at least one was done by his grandchild.
This was a very beautiful day.