June in the Pacific Northwest is affectionately called “Junuary” because of its overcast skies and multiple days of rain. So what better place to have an early summer Companis Worker retreat than in a lush rainforest surrounded by mountains and mist? Workers and staff gathered at Rainbow Lodge in North Bend, WA to reflect, brainstorm, and just be together in a quiet, comfortable place.
We had a wonderful time sharing meals together, hiking in the woods, playing with the resident goose, and meeting up in a circle to talk about ourselves, the world, and ways to spread the word about Companis’ mission to make our community healthier, safer, and more just by fostering skilled volunteer service.
In one of our circle sessions, we were asked to bring an object that nurtured us. Folks brought an array of items including a milk bottle from their family’s dairy, photos of a favorite beach, and a rock with the words “Onward” carved on it.
Companis Worker Mary Zwerling also shared an excerpt from The Way of Rest: Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love by Jeff Foster that nurtures her:
“Whatever is happening in the circumstances of your life, stop. Just for a moment. Bring your attention toward the here and now. Let the moment become fascinating. Gently begin to acknowledge what is actually happening where you are. Come out of your conclusions about life, your dreams about past and future, thoughts that are present, right here and right now. Let your present experience – sights and sounds and smells – become the most curious dance in all the universe. You are seeing, tasting, touching, hearing the world as if for the first time. This is your Garden of Eden, your messy, intense, joyous, and heartbreaking Garden of Eden, and you are awake to it at last.”
Thanks to everyone who joined us this year and for those who weren’t able to make it, we hope to see you soon. Your service builds healthy community, and we appreciate you!