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  • Writer's pictureJeana Noel

Peace By A River

After leaving Ashland, Oregon behind the final part of my drive would be through California. It's about 7 hours from Ashland to Soquel, so I thought it best to split the drive into two days, arriving refreshed on Wednesday, May 1st. Rainy, evergreen forested landscapes gave way to verdant green hills spotted with madrone trees. The landscape shifted steadily to vineyards, and I knew I was nearing Sonoma County.

Along the Russian River sits a glamping community called Wildhaven. This would be my final overnight stop before arriving at Camphill the next day. And it was perfect. There's nothing quite as relaxing for my nerves as sleeping nearby a river...and if I was being honest, I was feeling especially nervous for my arrival tomorrow. What would Camphill be like? Would everyone there be friendly? How would reality compare with what I had imagined these past few weeks? These thoughts kept running circles around my head. Having some time near the river and in nature would be helpful. As I walked along the river, counting my footsteps, quieting my thoughts, I felt lighter...letting light and love flow from nature, through me.

Reenergized, calmed and grounded I headed into the town of Healdsburg for some dinner. Healdsburg was a bustling and adorable "town" with a centralized park plaza surrounded by shops and restaurants. Beautiful architecture combined with plants growing happily and with abandon up their walls and across patios, brought delight to this gardener's heart! A Thai iced tea flavored ice cream cone from the Noble Folk felt luxurious before dinner. Sometimes, it's important to feed your inner self and their childish dessert before dinner. Or tea in the form of ice cream. Or sleeping in a tent near the river.

People call this self-care, but I prefer Tom Robbins' view: "It's never too late to have a good childhood." How beautiful. Because there are undoubtedly times when we need to nourish and take care of hold our inner child...even if it feels foolish. Maybe especially when it feels foolish! That night I ate BBQ in my tent under the stars, by the river. And my inner child was at peace, resting contentedly, ready for what tomorrow would hold.

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