For our first Family Retreat, we had a heart-warming experience of sharing healthy living tips with parents and their children. It started at the opening meal when a young lady of about nine ate (and enjoyed) her very first serving of lettuce after seeing the rest of us eating ours (to the amazement of her parents)!

With the help of Lise Nickerson and Father Jack, we guided the small group through a gentle schedule of meditation, yoga and a class on Ayurvedic body types.  Jack’s Sunday morning meditation on the bounty of summer included tastes from a gorgeous rainbow display of fruit and vegetables.  Murray Kelly offered his touching Walk of Life for emotional healing for individuals and families.

Katherine led adults and children on a trek to collect St. Johnswort flowers to make a soothing oil for aching muscles.  On Saturday evening we all relaxed to music and drumming, crowned by exquisite guitar music from Jacob, one of the participants.

Sarala Byers was the intrepid childcare person and watched over various projects including art, games, stories and nature walks.  Angela M., one of the mothers, helped enormously by bringing all kinds of activities to add to what we had, thank you very much!  One morning we did yoga and meditation with the children; it was sweet and moving to see even the most lively child sit quietly in front of a candle gently focussing on their breath. . .

Meals were often prepared jointly by all of us, coached by Jack with his background as a chef.  The children made a healthy dessert, washed dishes and helped set table.  During the last meal, the two toddlers in high chairs were seen feeding each other in a tender moment.  We managed to serve 15 people for a weekend for $200 with lots of food left over!

What about bugs and poison ivy?  They left their marks on several people, but we knew the plant cures to use and within minutes of applying a mush of either plantain (found in every lawn) or jewelweed leaves (often in wet areas, see pic above), itching, redness and swelling were reduced to almost nothing, much to the surprise and relief of all.

Over the final circle, we were all happy with our experience together, encouraged to slow down our lives and looking forward to more retreats with our children.  The plan is to run regular family retreats every July ~ we’ll let you know the dates as they approach.