Sunday, July 27, 2014

GIRLS RETREAT IN LEXINGTON



Whew. You guys, I had such a weekend. One of those where I kept saying aloud during the weekend how great of a weekend it was. Some of it had to do with how much I needed a few days exactly like this. Some of it had to do with the beautiful surroundings of a house on a farm in Lexington, VA. A lot of it had to do with the ladies that were with me on this trip.  

I started a beautiful book called, 'Gilead', a few months ago. The book's premise is simple; an elderly man who has been the pastor in his small town of Gilead all his life and is now near the end of his life is writing a letter to his young son, with the hopes that his son will know him better, even after he is gone. It's a poetic and melodic book, and it holds you to a certain pace and mood that is hard to break from and re-enter easily. Which is why, months later, I was still not done with it and it was driving me crazy. My number one agenda with my time away this weekend was to finish this book, and that I did, in the most appropriate setting for this book - on a porch, bathed by the breeze and sound of windchimes, surrounded by green fields and giant trees. In that kind of suspended space, I whipped through the last half of the book in lightening speed and was sad when I found myself at the end of it. There is nothing quite like this feeling of being quenched and then immediately hungry again for a good read. 

The rest of the weekend was more of this. In that wide open space - physical and mental- my mind was able to unfurl and I could feel it stretch out, languidly. That kind of stretching can do a world of good. There were enough moments to journal, to take a walk, to wander through the house, to just sit and lay about. We also picked wild raspberries, took turns cooking, and I got to play the piano and practice on my new ukelele. 

And the food, oh the food. There was pear and ginger margaritas and Puerto Rican pasteleon, a fruit and granola muesli with mocha, chicken quesadilla with guacamole, salsa, and a watermelon and feta salad. There was rhubarb bourbon cocktails and wild raspberries off of bushes. There was garlic toast with anchovies and capers, a Caesar salad with a new take on Caesar dressing, red wine and handmade tagliatelle made from spelt flour for saffron tagliatelle with spiced butter. There was crepe filled with wild raspberries and bourbon whipped cream. There was cinnamon scones, fresh homemade bread, a meat and cheese platter, gruyere soufflĂ© and mimosas. I KNOW. 

Each one of these ladies that I was on this retreat with is wonderful. They are a rad bunch and they each, in their individual ways, compel me to reach deeper and be truer. They are also good at comforting, cracking jokes and cooking. 

Extra bonus, it was also my birthday on one of these days, which meant I felt even more of an impetus to soak everything up. 

Now that the words are out of the way, a ton of pictures! These here are from the first and very last part of the weekend, there are a few more in between that I will share later on this week:


































4 comments:

  1. Bravo for such beautifully accurate portraits!

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  2. you forgot the plantain lasagna...

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  3. this looks positively idyllic! what a wonderful weekend, and your birthday to boot!

    that list of food made my stomach rumble btw

    but especially happy you read gilead!

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