Restore: to return to an original or former condition. To bring back to health and good spirits. To return to life. To get or give new life or energy.
“You have 30 minutes to go on a solo adventure. The intention of it is to reflect on what is calling to be restored and then seek out reflections of your restored sense of self in the natural world.”
This was the mission that I shared with the group who is with me currently on our 7th Birds Eye Folly Beach Women’s Entrepreneurial Retreat. During these four day experiences we work, or play our way, through the following lenses: Restoration, Reflection, Creativity, Connection. The kick-off solo adventure is designed to give participants and myself the opportunity to explore and connect with the landscape that they will be inhabiting and to quickly leave behind the world from which they are seeking temporary escape. I also ask that they capture these reflections of self in photographs on their phone, or drawings or writings, that they can come back and share with the group.
I, too, took the charge to explore for these 30 minutes and I came back with a renewed sense of understanding of my own adventurous spirit and my paradoxical, perpetual need for both buzz and stillness.
Here is my own experience captured in fragments. I invite you to envision the whole.
Down the spiral staircase, attention caught by slats casting shadow, or rather by the light between
Pause at the top of the mat, thank it for serving as a vessel of voyage earlier in the day
Down to the water’s edge to discover my own 50 shades of grey in the sky
Hop on the bike, my bike from home, the one with the rusting bell
Peddle peddle, weaving, drifting, breathing
Turn right then left 2 blocks to the wash out
A collection of bodies held buoyant by boards awaiting their joy rides
Ah, there goes one. Now two. Birds lets conspire
Back on the bike, peddle faster this time, as “time'“ is running out
A child is crying in the tangle of oak trees and underbrush
How do I get to you? Oh wait…here comes mama(s)
My eyes are called deeper into the tanglewood. A marsh view beckons through the thicket
A for sale sign stands crooked in the sand
I circle back around, snap a photo of the sign, just in case…
To the left a tiny cottage. Beach front. Really tiny. Old. Shingled. Juxtaposed.
I peer around and allow myself to dream again
The writer’s cottage
I peddle back feeling full, maybe too full. Adrenalin has had its way with me
I slow down the rotation of the wheels
One more stop is calling me before I re-enter, a place to gain stillness
Just across from the house an open space lies
Lean the bike upside the tree
Walk with light creeping feet towards this water’s edge
What water is this? Enclosed and smooth as glass
Rusty children’s toy tractors, relics of the past, a collection of cast off golf balls
A fire pit, a pitch fork in the ground
And there above this ramshackle oasis is a perch creatively constructed on top of a home
A paradise to me
to another a muck
Evidence of a life of toil and luck
I pause and know the time has come