Wednesday, December 31, 2008
On a visit to Jerome this past year, I stayed over night at the Surgeon's House. The owner has created a refuge for the guests who join her. The rooms are decorated with keepsakes from her childhood and local artist paintings of the historic home. The breakfasts she makes out of love; you can taste it in the way she presents it and serves it to you on china with silver and ironed linens in a dining room filled with antique furnishings.
The community space includes handcrafted iron railings, balconies, secret gardens, and hidden walkways like the one pictured above. This one begins at a gate that opens up to a fence lined with rustic Noah bells. Ring them, and the sound is said to release negative energy and help inspire the day ahead. At the far end sits a bench where you can rest, reflect and observe your surroundings.
Located high up on a hill, you can see the former ghost town-turned artists' community down below. You can see the red rocks of Sedona and the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff in the distance. Behind you is a mountain with the big white letter J painted on the side. In front of you are koi ponds, fountains and various plants and flowers that mostly bloom year-round: jasmine, rose bushes, day lillies, gardenias, irises, daisies and more.
Each morning, you'll find the owner of this B&B in her kitchen, sitting at a table with her legs crossed, meditating over tarot cards. She lights candles and incense, surrounds herself with beautiful things, and this is how she begins her day. She understands the importance of finding your refuge, knowing who you are at your inner core, becoming aware. She's created a space to do that for herself and where you can come to do the same.
Invited to stay with her, I was working on my trave guide when I was in Jerome this last time. I've vowed to return to this hilltop site another time, however, as I felt an inner peace there that I couldn't quite fully reach as I was working and interviewed her and the guests she invited over for me to meet. My next journey there will be more about reflection. A weekend retreat could provide that, and I know I'll return there this year. I'm drawn, and when I'm drawn somewhere, I listen and follow.
In the year ahead, think about where you'll go to find your refuge, what you'll do, how you'll fit it into your tight schedule. If something's been calling out to you in your subconscious, give the call a voice. Let it be heard. It's clearly telling you something important.
Perhaps it's saying you need time alone. No matter how difficult it may seem, trust this is true. Yes, you work all day and then may have to prepare dinner for the family in the evenings. Yes, you must get the kids to after-school activities. And, yes, there is shopping to do and your favorite TV shows to watch. Don't forget there is also a YOU to look after. Finding your refuge is one small step you can take to do that in 2009.
I hope you'll have a happy new year.
P.S. If you visit me at The Phoenix Traveler, you can enter a giveaway for a special treat from the Montelucia Resort.