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Into the Woods and Back Out Again: Everyday Magic, Day 441

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

Every year, we go into the woods at Shantivanam in Easten, Kansas for a little retreat.

We usually go in overlapping shifts, me hauling my cello and little suitcase to a small cabin in the woods on a Thursday, Ken showing up late on Friday, and me leaving before him on Sunday so that he can have

The first day there, I’m more than a little all over the place, all the racing thoughts come home to roost and peck each other to death. It usually takes a good 24 hours before I calm down enough to stop spinning out thoughts about imaginary scenarios. What helps are the trees, sky, small pond where we can sit in the little tea house and watch what water does under the influence of wind. What helps is how much this place is imbued with decades of peace, the trails well-walked for years by people like us simply


Mostly we talk, tell stories, re-tell stories, walk paths, share soup and crackers, and marvel at the woods at the precise place they travel in the season. Sometimes we write to each other. Sometimes we watch a movie on our laptop, and then analyze every nuance of it. And we usually do yoga on the little deck. When we come out of the woods, we’re still ourselves, but more so, free of some of some of what distracts from the real.

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