can go to a retreat for women when you come visit," my
sister said. "I went last year and it was fun. You
can join a group on Facebook for the details. I will send you an
Wild Women of the Succulent Something
"Okay, sounds good to me. I'm up for trying new
things" -- although the wild women part was a little scary.
How wild were they? Did they go wild for bead necklaces?
Did they wear animal skins and carry clubs?"
"No, no, there are people that I know from church that
go, but it is oriented towards nature and and environmental
"If church women go, it is probably okay," I
thought. I looked at the list of activities and they sounded
harmless, things like jewelry making and drum playing. The
retreat was located at a Girl Scout campground. The picture
showed women holding hands around a campfire. How wild could it
Each woman was supposed to bring a dish -- a soup or salad,
but my sis said she would take enough food for both of us, since
I was flying to St. Louis to visit my sister the day before, and
I couldn't bring soup or salad on a plane.
Arriving at the camp, we joined the women who were already
there sitting around a large campfire, some playing bongo drums
and one playing a guitar. It was peaceful, not wild at all. I
decided they were not actually wild women but old women wanting
to be wild. Maybe they were flower children from the past trying
to relive the glory days.
We were blessed or purified or something with smoke from
burning sage as part of an opening ceremony. Some of the women
read poetry to evoke the sacred spirits of creativity, I
suppose. One woman played a flute. So far, so good.
I noticed a workshop on trees and signed up for it. It was based
on a Native American belief that trees are sacred. I wrote an
article years ago about famous trees, such as the oldest tree in
the world, Methuselah, a Bristlecone Pine; historical trees,
like the Liberty Tree in Boston; and other trees known for
events that happened near them. I could read that. Participants
were supposed to bring something related to trees to talk about
or read, sort of an adult Show and Tell.
Next, my sister and I decided to make a faerie garden, even
though I was not sure what faerie garden is. As it turned out,
it was what I would call a saucer garden with a collection of
small plants, rocks, and other items related to nature arranged
in an artistic manner. I didn't have a fairy, gnome, toadstool
or anything magical to add, but it turned out good enough.
Lunch was interesting with salads and dishes related to
natural food, organic food, or vegan food. It was tasty even
though I didn't know what I was eating most of the time. The
brownies looked good but had hot spices that kicked back. I also
ate my first lavender-flavored cookie which was sort of like
We were sorry that we could choose only one activity for each
of the three sessions as we wanted to do them all, especially
when we saw the tiny nests with eggs made in one of the
alternate groups. We had spent our time cutting and pasting in a
Feng Shui group that was supposed to balance our energies and
put us in harmony with the environment. It reminded me of being
The final activity was African Dancing and drumming led by a
professor from a nearby college who demonstrated various
movements and what they meant. Women danced along and tried to
follow her rhythm and dance movements giggling as they danced.
It was sort of like an African line dance.
I am still trying to get the smoke smell from the campfire
out of my hair and clothes, but what's a little smoke smell when
wild succulent women of the woods are having fun.