By David Krest
Naomi and Jewel were sitting in the rental car they had driven from the Denver airport to here, a retreat center up Boulder Canyon, in the mountains, Sunflower Retreat. They were here to heal the hopelessness that was consuming them. Jewel’s 12 year old son had recently committed suicide and Naomi’s 15 year old daughter had died in a car crash with Jewel as the driver.
They sat looking over the landscape without seeing it. Jewel opened her door slowly, as if she had just enough energy to do so. Naomi followed in an emotional state of not quite being here. Both moved forward toward a path they thought would lead them to the retreat center. They walked across a meadow displaying its wildflowers and orange and green lichen clinging to boulders, unaware as they both were deeply into their thoughts. At the edge of the meadow the path led into the pine forest, its scent of pine enhanced by the warmth of the sun streaming through the trees and illuminating the path…neither Naomi nor Jewel were present to the beauty surrounding them.
Automatically putting one foot in front of the other, moving deeper into the woods where the silence could be heard. The stillness began to wrap itself softly around Jewel and she took a long, slow, deep breath and found herself standing at the threshold of an old overgrown Labyrinth. She turned to Naomi who was standing just behind her on the path which seemed to be encased in a porous mud colored cocoon. Jewel put forth her hand, beckoning to Naomi, and as she did, vivid colors appeared, enveloping Naomi, bright orange Indian paintbrush, the blue of Columbine, purple lupine and filtered sunlight’s soft yellow warmth.
Jewel moved closer to Naomi and said in a hushed voice, “Are you aware of the beauty and miracle of life that is unfolding around you”? Jewel asked in a hushed voice.
Naomi opened her eyes wide, sensing the wonderment around her. She reached out to take Jewel’s hand, and together they took a first step into the Labyrinth toward healing their pain.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com