My Refuge

sunset-for-webD. Roberts recently spent a couple of weeks at the Ashram on an Artist’s Retreat. She reflects on her experience.

My recent decision to learn to play a musical instrument, something I’ve always longed to do, synchronized with the chance to do an Artist’s Retreat in Creek Cabin, a perfect tiny log cabin tucked into a nook in the forest with an amazing view of Kootenay Lake.

I’m a bit bashful to admit that the instrument I’m learning is the ukulele. It’s a bright and happy instrument that is difficult to take too seriously. It’s forgiving, relatively accessible and so much fun.

With two hours of Karma Yoga in the morning and the rest of the day to focus on music and reflection, the retreat gave me lots of time to sit on my private little porch and play.

Early one morning I stepped out upon my porch and noticed a bird, about the size of a robin, tucked beside the deck with one of its wings splayed out as if it were broken. I have no idea how long it had been there, but I left it in peace with little hope for its fate.

A few hours later it was still there. The wing was pulled in, yet the bird was still snugged up against the porch. I stood there concerned about how I could help. Then suddenly it alighted and flew up to the branch of a tree. Perhaps it just needed a safe quiet place to rest, recuperate, regroup, and then carry on. I was grateful that I had the chance to witness its flight. How fitting it is that it chose Creek Cabin for its temporary refuge.

Yasodhara Ashram is my refuge, a place to regroup, reflect on my choices and the freedom I have to make those choices. Sometimes I think the place is a miracle, but it’s not. It is the product of care, kindness and generosity of spirit of those who dedicate themselves daily to create and maintain this place for all who come. It’s a small corner of paradise that I have known for over 15 years.

This trip, I encountered a tiny perfect cabin, a tiny perfect instrument and a tiny perfect bird. My two-week Artist’s Retreat at Creek Cabin continues to sustain me.

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