So what happens at a Sisters in Spirit Beach Retreat?

Women of SIS with ocean in background
Well, typically, for starters, men leave, and women have space in which to stretch and explore themselves by themselves and in relation to others. The theme for this year’s retreat (2015) was “Restoration.”

This year the weather was beautiful, leaving plenty of opportunities for beach walking with or without chatting, stone gathering, boat watching, deck sitting, sunrise observing, etc. After considering options that might take us away from the house such as boat riding, park exploring, and restaurant visiting, we decided this year to stay close to home where reading, card playing, and napping were among choices available. Over supper we added melodious synchronous adjectives to our first names by which we could be all be called for the rest of the weekend: Merry Marty, Bubbles Bev, Moving along Mary, Excellent Edith, etc. After supper we played “Two Truths and a Lie”, learning, among other things, that one of us had been at Woodstock rock concert, one of us had been left alone in the dismal swamp, and one of us had been a police woman carrying a gun in our many varied pasts. We then loosened up with some yoga stretches as we chatted into the evening and then explored our bedrooms to discover rest for the following day.

Saturday, following a delicious breakfast of waffles, fruits, and accompanying protein, we were off on varied adventures as one of us played musical accompaniment on her ukulele. After shrimp dinner we held our annual creativity (sometimes termed “non-talent” as to not to seem too pressuring but people are really QUITE talented) night where the offerings this year included learning how to tie a scarf, discussing the role of chance in life events, a sharing of the importance of salt in the economy of Topsail Island, delighting in music and poetry, learning how to fold and wear a sari from India, participating in restorative yoga with bolsters, and praying for the Earth. On Sunday following bagel-egg-fruit breakfast and a decision to be meeting on second or fourth Thursdays in the coming year sometimes at homes and sometimes at church, we held a religious service including songs, Bible verses, readings and a guided meditation. We took some final pictures and walks, and then packed up for departure from the sound of surf, hopefully, “restored.”

- Submitted by Marty Lamb