As soon as I arrived at Othona I felt at home. I immediately texted my daughters to let them know I'd arrived in heaven! I adore the sea and hear it speak to me. I am constantly drawn to it as if it is in my blood. I need to see it and make contact on a regular basis in order to revitalise myself. Imagine therefore my delight to find that Othona was located on a hillside overlooking a fabulous vista across the bay from Portland Bill to the east and as far as the eye could see to the west. However, the climax came as I entered my room... a massive bay window overlooking the sea! It felt like entering an IMax cinema as my eyes were magnetised to the window. It's a suprise that I went to any of the sessions as I could quite happily have spent the time there ensconced in my room gazing in awe.
The weather for once was extremely kind to us. Not wanting to waste a minute even I, a relative stranger to the cracks of dawn, was out on the beach by 7am each morning, showered and prepared for the day. It was a 20 minute walk to the shore line and a fairly strenuous walk back up the hill. However, the call of fresh foods lovingly prepared provided a strong impetus to return. The Orthona team catered for every dietary need with compassion and respect and nothing was too much for them. We in turn were able to show our gratitude by joining in the rotas for the daily chores which knitted us into the community as honorary members. Tony's mellifluous voice and gentle instruction ensured we never felt at sea or adrift but were embraced within the heart of Othona.
Jackee is a real treasure! I so enjoyed the way she held the energy for the group and the fun that she brought into everything we did. Whilst some material plummetted us into the depths of old emotions and revealed outworn habits for what they were - blocks, barriers, excuses and resistance - no one could dwell on the threshold of their darker memories for long.
Many of us had not really thought of ourselves as writers. Despite my love of writing, my honouring of words well crafted and deep need to communicate and share, I too had never seriously considered the possibility. I now understand this is a fundamental part of who I am and intend to take this realisation with me every step of the way into the future. I shared this release into a new identity and space with some amazing writers in the group. Their ability to grapple with raw emotion and weave beautiful descriptives together so lovingly left me simply thirsting for more. I feel a deep gratitude for the inspiration I received from them and great respect for their journeys so beautifully portrayed. I believe we all came away feeling we had been 'ordained' with the ability to go forth and spread the word.
This is the beauty of community on this level - the empowerment and the loving support of the group that holds that higher frequency until it is embedded and strong enough to be taken forth into the 'real' world with confidence. Thanks to Jackee's dynamism, wisdom and humour we have all been transformed on some level and can take that new found inner peace with us to the audiences that await us, renewed in our faith and determination to follow the path that lies clearly before us ... as writers!