Deep within the woods in Vanderbilt lies a retreat center known as Song of the Morning. I first heard of it from Paula, one of my coworkers, & have longed to visit it for several years. This past weekend they hosted a retreat called “Happiness Is” which seemed like a good fit – & it exceeded my hopes & expectations.
I was originally going to attend the retreat with Kari, a friend that I met at Anchorage Retreat Center last year & Serentopia sister. Unfortunately, her grandma passed away last Wednesday so she was unable to attend. Therefore, instead of sharing a room with her in the lodge, I booked a pod in the domes. The domes, in & of themselves, had me feeling like I was in some type of extraterrestrial space. They were the hub of activity during the retreat; the center dome was where all of the activities took place & the other 2 were sleeping pods & a table with chairs conversation area. Most of the dozen or so attendees came alone, & I met 2 people my age whom I particularly connected with.
Hours upon hours of discussions, 5 yoga sessions, 2 Shamanic drumming journeys, an introduction to the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) which I gather is a blend of eastern/western religion namely Hinduism & Christianity, all vegan/vegetarian meals outdoors by the main building/bridge – the whole weekend was filled with intrigue & stretched me outside of my comfort zone. It was a fantastic experience, a venue I’d recommend visiting, & the type of experience that I hope to repeat in the future.
I eased my way back into reality with a fun Sunday afternoon in Gaylord: shopping for some summer outfits for Trinley at Kohl’s, watching “Cruella,” at the cinema, a white mocha from Starbucks, & birthday cake remix ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery (all businesses that we don’t have in Alpena).