Tomorrow morning, Karyn and I fly to Mexico City and then to Lima and then to Cusco. We’ll stumble off the airplane at 11,000 feet and be greeted by a driver holding a sign with our names on it. An hour and a half later, we’ll arrive by van at Sach’a Munay, our home for the first ten days we’re in the Sacred Valley.
Karyn and I are flying in early to acclimate and to meet our True Nature tour guide, Brenda. Brenda will introduce us to the Sacred Valley and the three of us will get everything in readiness to welcome 18 travelers—arriving from all over—next week. Brenda will be our guide to Peru. Karyn will teach the yoga and I’ll be the writing instructor. I love being part of a team.
But even though my bags are already packed, even though I’ve already started taking chlorophyll to adjust to the altitude and probiotics to help my gut prepare for a new cuisine, it’s still not real to me that we’re leaving tomorrow or that we’re going to Peru. The whole thing feels unreal, like a fantasy.
It was only two days ago I wrapped up the Writing as a Pathway Through Grief retreat in Bolinas, that I said goodbye to my beloved co-teachers and all our amazing students. My heart and tendrils of my brain are still processing that retreat, still holding each participant in my mind’s eye. Remembering the intimacy and the love and the honesty of that circle.
I didn’t really intend to do two big things back to back like this, but it’s just how it worked out this time—the retreat centers were available only in October and I said yes to both of them. And so here I am, teaching two big retreats back to back. I guess you could say it’s an experiment in how to apportion my time between writing, teaching, and traveling. Trying to find the right balance. Trying to find the right mix.
My pit stop back here in Santa Cruz has been brief. And it’s been taken up with tracking the fires to the north, email troubles–the fact that I’ve been trying to set up a vacation responder keeps triggering me as a spammer and Google keeps shutting down my account), unexpected crises, and lots of small problems demanding attention and solutions.
I’m doing the best I can to resolve everything, but at 10 tomorrow when we get picked up, whatever is left undone remains undone.
NOTE: Be sure to read all the captions under the pictures the story continues there.
One part of my brain is trying to anticipate this:
But really my brain is still stuck in this:
No wonder I love to travel.