Our hope was and is that everyone who comes to MeiMei's retreat center will leave with a sense of peace and healing.
And we never forget - every one of us has wounds that need mending. Every one of us is living in fear. The key is to recognize these in ourselves and in others.
Today, there is nothing like opening this box and smelling the sweet scent of paper and ink. And then, lifting the brochures out with their bright colors and slick, glossy paper.
The center is a growing concern. Even with the pandemic raging - and maybe because of it's horrible isolation and constant fear howling from the outside, it's become especially sweet to remember the joy of companionship and art.
On the plus side, people are finding the peace to be found in nature and downtime at home. They crave connection with others but fear that contact. Our online classes seem to be just what they need. So, we have included several in our brochure's spring schedule.
And really, Plain Air is all about that - finding connection in our hearts and our minds. Peace and light as far as our eyes can see and far beyond that. It is as simple and as profound as that. Just being able to breath - plain air.
And, crazy as it may seem - it all came about from a murder mystery.
Some of the guests were brave enough to become children again and venture out to create snow forts and figures. It wasn't all quiet - there was laughter and singing, too. Someone remembered the words to Frosty the Snowman and that led to other songs from the past.
We were safe and cozy in our retreat center. On the day of departure, we woke to deep banks of crusted snow and a bright, sunny day with the news snowplows had cleared the roads.
The storm had passed over us. Almost biblical. And certainly, a miracle for us.
MeiMei told us we had nothing to fear - as she told us in our first debriefing - the blizzard turned out to be Most Auspicious.
(t be continued)
Plein Air Retreat Center (from Book Two)
I absolutely love the new brochures!
I wish I could take credit for them. But it was MeiMei who designed and commissioned them. It was her staff of incredibly talented people, working together to create them.
In fact, the entire retreat center is a collaborative effort. The intention being a place where MeiMei's guests can come out of the world into a space of quiet, find the inner peace we all need, and leave fortified to return home. Hopefully, they will carry this peace with them and spread it around - much like fairy dust.
I vividly remember our opening day. January 22. What happened there only affirmed our vision.
The day began bright and sunny as only a true January day can be. Cold - very cold - but the sun! Our guests arrived and settled in and then the warnings started.
First ice, then a blizzard. We were snowed in. But we were safe and warm in our retreat with roaring blazes in the fireplaces and plenty of hot chocolate and even s'mores for those not sugar adverse.
There was worry at first - how would our guests get home? But MeiMei was spectacular as always. She took us into a peaceful place with assurances all would be well.
to be continued.....
The story of how a group of painters solve a murder mystery and start a retreat center. Oh yes, using the aid of a quirky spirit and their marvelous powers of observation? and bravery, they almost succeed in what they start out with.
And they do find a lot more - a sisterhood they never knew they could have.
It is also the story of how a very unlikely start can lead to the cultivation of a great idea.
Finally, what is the mission of the spirit? Is it to solve her own murder? Or something greater?