Monday, February 20, 2012

Fresh Air

The last time I spent the night at Green Gulch was almost a year ago, and it had a very different feel. This weekend I had to keep reminding myself that I was not responsible for a couple of handfuls of twelve-year old boys, that the people on the Young Urban Zen retreat could be trusted not to get into trouble and to look after themselves. I caught myself doing surreptitious head-counts to see if all were present or if someone had slipped away, but then I wasn't completely sure how many people had actually made it: I think it was twenty-three, of whom seven came on bikes in the end, though we had mechanical issues on the way out which made us a little late for the opening - we made up for it on the way back by getting to City Center faster than the cars, who were stuck in long lines trying to get over the bridge...
So it was an entirely relaxing proposition this time around. The weather was kind to us, and threatened rain did not materialise until some time last night; we had blue skies and fresh winds blowing.
Right before we left, Blanche said it was great that we were using the guest house, as that was what it had been built for, large groups getting together to take over the whole building. It was a lovely space to be in, especially with the fire going in the evening and early morning. We deliberately kept things unstructured, and one person who had several ideas for group activities found us more inclined to lounge around the fire than go running around outside. I think everyone ended up outdoors on Saturday afternoon, with various lengths of hikes being undertaken; we all met back in the small dining room for dinner, and then congregated for the evening with smores, game-playing for those that wanted, accompanied by guitars, chat and just sitting around in company. I was the first to go to bed, and drifted off to sleep to the sound of singing downstairs.
It was lovely to get up before it got light and set the fire going again, and listen as everyone else stirred. I was most impressed that three people had got up for the early sitting; we all joined the later sit and the talk, headed to the beach again, had lunch and did a thorough clean of the guest house before a closing circle. I think most people were very into the idea of doing it again some time, and it may be that we try it for the whole weekend next time.

The city suddenly showed up looking very close

Above Muir Beach

Muir Beach at sunset

Making smores


Morning group shot

Blossom time at Green Gulch

The garden shed


Hannah said...

Wow, Shundo, you actually appear in one of these photos! Beautiful shots, as always. Looks like a pretty happy slumber party...

Sandy's witterings said...

Another batch of excellent pictures (especially your garden shed) and looks a great change from the city.
You're probably scoring two hits on your stats at once here.
Sandy and Gail

Shundo said...

Hi Hannah, we did get some sleep in the end...just don't tell anyone which one is me.

Sandy and Gail, alas Scotland is not appearing as a separate flag on the counter, otherwise I'm sure it would be prominent. I was excited to get a visitor from the Isle of Man recently, which did show up. And yes, not your average garden gnome over at Green Gulch. It is only fifteen or so miles from downtown SF, but has a nice remote feel at times

Mike said...

The garden shed photo is beautiful!!! Do you mind if I save copy for my own personal use?

And thanks for the post about friendship....and if you would like to know, my situation is better with regard to that. We had a courageously honest conversation and it was good.

Shundo said...

Hi Mike,

I am happy for my photos to be used by people as long as it is personal, and glad to hear about your friend. Sometimes being courageous and honest has remarkable results.
Hope you are looking forward to the new race season.

Kogan said...

Garden shed photo stopped me in my tracks, so to speak. thanks for posting.