It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Monday, June 1, 2009
Asilomar; a beautiful place to be.
"Asilomar with her many trees,
Her silvery water,
her ocean breeze.
Her sand dunes white
arise with grace:
Oh! Nature lovers,
it's a wonderful place." ~e. briar, m. weber & a. eatwell~ 1935~
...and it was. My sister and I drove from Lafayette, on Sunday, down hiway 101 to Monterey and into Pacific Grove. The Asilomar Conference Center is a refuge nestled in the dunes and forested shoreline of the Monterey Peninsula. It is a wild preserve founded by a group of women that were determined to build a community that would support education and improve the lives of woman in the early part of the century. They helped create a retreat for the YWCA that would be available to anyone who wished to gain knowledge and learn new things to improve their lives. Julia Morgan was the architect for the buildings. The buildings are of the Arts and Crafts style and only local wood and stone was used. More recently apartment style rooms were added with all the modern emenities. There is a spirit and a feeling of pilgrimage when you arrive here. There is a feeling of refuge that quiets the business of life and gives you permission to slow down.
The view through the doors of Merrill Hall at dusk.
This was a trip that almost didn't happen. Mom went into the hospital on Friday morning and we had decided not to go. I arrived two days early thinking that we would just cancel the trip and I would spend the week at my sisters. Mom, although having trouble breathing, told us we should go and the doctor said that he was sure she would be returning to her care home in a day or two. He told us that she would be all right and that we should attend the workshop because it was only 2 hours away and Mom would probably be in the hospital until the day before we would get home. On Sunday we decided to go.
I got home yesterday afternoon to my little house on the hill. The Prospector, Maggie, Carl (aka,the pupster) and Annibel were all here to greet me. It is so good to be home. The goats were a bit distant, but that's to be expected. Brownie kind of ignored me but Bart told me he was glad I was back. I will be going back down to see Mom in a week or so unless there's an emergency, then sooner.
Tomorrow I will tell you about the Art and Soul Workshop, our teacher Nina Bagley, how much fun we had and how Mom is doing.