I was really curious how it'd feel to join women I didn't know, step away from my family and immerse myself in a community that is rich with history. I had NO idea how transformative my journey would be, and I'm really eager (but trying to remain patient with the process) to see how everything unfolds.
Some parts of my journey that I am ready to share:
- Driving down to Summertown was filled with dancing along to tunes, listening to some books on CD, and just sitting in silence. It was a drive filled with anticipation, relief, and a little nervousness, too.
- Arriving at the Welcome Center and being greeted by a kind woman, while surrounded by The Farm memorabilia, I was eager to set up my tent to avoid the impending rain!
- When I met Douglas Stevenson, our host for the weekend and Farm resident, I felt both settled and curious about the coming days.
- I slept in my tent outside Deborah Flowers' birthing cabin, the space where we spent much of our weekend. It rained EVERY NIGHT I was there, but falling asleep and waking to rain (both actively falling and dripping from the trees after the rainfall) was so peaceful.
- My first impressions of the women I met were among the lines of, they're nice! So many Canadians! Will I ever remember everyone's name?! My lasting memories are that we were brought together for the first ever Birthworkers Retreat for a reason, and I'm so grateful for experiencing the weekend with these amazing women. *The Farm hosts a number of midwifery workshops and other related workshops, but nothing specifically open to birth doulas seeking renewal and a weekend of learning.
- Being at The Farm, I was in constant awe that this wasn't a retreat or vacation for the residents; this was real life and their chosen home. I wondered frequently throughout the weekend how I could ever integrate this sense of peace into my life after I returned to Indiana.
Photo Credit by fellow attendee Tara C.C.R.