HHSSNo.4 went off at the end of August like a grand finale of late Summer fireworks, the final Sunday class bringing our opening Spring season to a successful close with four hits, four runs and roughly forty fans stepping up to take part in the initial Higher Haven retreat experience. I like the baseball analogy, given that a consistent at-bat - a quality at-bat - were the attainable goals of this rookie season. Having planned eight one-day retreat days - a bit ambitious in retrospect - we successfully performed four workshops, which has us batting .500 and heading into the Fall exemplary energy players ready to rally.

Family also played a role in making this gathering feel, well, more like family. "Family comes first" my Native American Teacher was fond of saying, a dictum not necessarily spoken from a place of privilege. More the contrary, as Chief Crazybull suffered the harsh traumas of being brought up in the Indian Boarding School system. When I recently heard a Catholic Priest open his sermon with,"There is an old Chinese maxim that states: No family can hang out the placard declaring: 'Nothing is the matter here'", I was well reminded of the challenges every one of usface in the fight for personal freedom, given our family of origin identities.

All that said, out of both care and a I think a healthy curiosity, my dear, old friend Allison aka Addy aka Big Al Hayes made the jaunt up from suburban Chicago that Sunday, bringing her eleven-year-old son Adam, along with niece Hillary and nephew Danny. According to his Mom, Adam is "a very deep boy with a lot of questions", a young seeker who took in the woods and frog-filled creeks all around the property. "If a relative of mine owned this land, I would frequent it often", Adam declared, a proclamation I was happy to hear and hope to uphold, as both land steward and preservationist for future generations.

Hillary is a lovely human being and my one-woman big city focus group. Having taken part in group meditation practice and Transcendental Meditation (TM) training, she thoroughly enjoyed the day and responded favorably to the spiritual purification teaching. "Sunday was awesome," she shared. "It was really was one of the coolest things I've done! I can't stop talking about it... I will definitely be sending people your way and already can't wait until next summer. Thanks for everything!" Thank YOU Hilary, and Al, and Adam, and Danny and Rebecca and Kelly and Teresa and every one of the Oyates (people) who ventured out to the trusty woods and banks of the Black River to make our Sundays circles ones of shared community success. After the heat of Indian Summer passes and the pressures of September's mercury retrograde ease, we'll be announcing our exciting October events and other happenings for the upcoming, introspective Fall season. We look forward to seeing and practicing with you all. Toksha, Until then.