Dear beautiful soul,

I’ll keep it quick because I have been very busy with my plum tree. We’ve waited years for a substantial harvest and here it is! In every corner of my time I’m processing plums.

Life is abundant in its sweetness right now, at least in terms of plums, and it is both a kitchen chore and spiritual discipline to pay attention. The chipmunks and squirrels are having a multi-day feast around the tree. I also want to receive this great gift. I’ve been slicing, boiling and drying plums late into the night.

A tree heavy with fruit is such a beautiful symbol for a full, mature life.

Flowering trees in the spring certainly are beautiful. My plum tree is among the first to bloom. But the nourishment is not in the flowers, it is in the fruit.

Our country loves the ephemeral flowers of youth. Yet just as mature fruit is what really nourishes us, a full and well-lived life offers others many gifts of wisdom.

I give you two invitations with this season:

  • Earth is abundantly nourishing us now – pay attention and let is really sink into your bones.
  • Aspire to be a ripe fruit tree, nourishing others through your maturity and fullness.

With gratitude and love,


Dance to celebrate joy and connection – Outdoor Dance Retreat

August 27-29, 2021, Christine Center, Willard, WI

Musical accompaniment by Greg Herriges

Restore your connections to yourself, others, and life through the collective joy of dance. Surrounded by nature, accompanied by live music, community dance creates a container strong enough to support you through times of uncertainty and change.

Over our glorious weekend outside together we will:

  • Dance to honor and connect with the natural world
  • Explore how dance can connect us with Universal Energies and non-dual consciousness.
  • Learn how dances have helped many communities move through catastrophe and can be a source of healing for us today.
  • Dance to activate the qualities of cooperation, generosity, hospitality, and sustainability in our lives.

Our guides for this weekend are traditional women’s dances, practiced in a circle and inclusive of the whole village. We will draw upon the pioneering research by dancer, musician, and scholar Laura Shannon on the healing power of women’s dances from the Balkans, Greece, and Asia Minor. This workshop emphasizes the inner harmony that these gentle, simple dances cultivate.  No dance experience whatsoever is necessary. If you can walk, you can do these dances.

Dance has bound humanity together for thousands of years; dancers comprise the most prominent image in archeological records. The dancing circle is a map for relating to one another, giving and receiving, and sharing leadership. Together we will cultivate the experience of deep belonging which will awaken our courage, resilience, stamina, and vision for how we can be in community moving forward.

COVID Considerations

This will be an all-outdoors retreat. During the pandemic, dancing while maintaining distance makes a circle larger; it strengthens our attention to social, spiritual, and emotional closeness. Meals are offered indoors, with outdoor seating as an option. Everyone regardless of vaccination status is required to mask up in public indoor spaces at the Christine Center. Lodging options include tenting, private hermitages, and main lodge. Learn more.

The Circle is Open

This workshop is dedicated to women’s dances and acknowledges the feminine is expressed through a spectrum of genders; all genders welcome. Our dancing is grounded in a dance tradition with roots in ancient Europe and is open to people from all cultural backgrounds.

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