Tuesday, August 20, 2013
On Sunday we arrived back home from our annual trek to Cazadero Family Performing Arts Camp. Ideally it would be a slow re-entry back into the real world, back into daily living with computers, driving, texting, screens, working, cooking, teaching . . . but for most of us, myself included, the re-entry has not been slow at all. Alas, students are waiting; emails need to be returned; work has to be completed; dinner has to be made . . .
We love Caz
Going to Caz is definitely our favorite time of the year. For two weeks Noah, Ren and I are together exploring new things, taking risks, playing, laughing, making new friends, eating wonderful food, listening to amazing music, having so much fun, all underneath the redwoods. We go for two weeks because I teach yoga for both sessions. This year Dre came for Session B and stayed for the week. What an honor to watch her sing in the gospel and a capela choirs.
Caz is a place that fully supports the human spirit. It is a place that children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, friends, parents, partners, and teachers all live together in community for a week. You can take classes in drumming, guitar, ukelele, sewing, drawing, painting, circus arts, yoga, hooping, capeiora, dancing, singing, writing, theatre, creek walks, kid city, arts & crafts, piano, photography, taiko, and so much more.
For two weeks I teach yoga: morning stretch, yoga flow, ashtanga & yoga/hula hooping with Kaye. Each time I come back, I am overwheled by the gratitude of the students I get to teach. They are of all ages (from 6 to 75) and of varying yogic abilities. We settle in amidst the dirt, music, chatter, noise, trees, doubt, hope and cold mornings. Some of the students already have a connection to yoga in their lives, but for some of them, this is the yoga that carries them through the year.
The students seem forever changed by the connection to their bodies they experience - many of them tell me what a difference this yoga practice at Caz has made in their lives. They tell me about getting into yoga at home; about standing straighter; about being pain-free, about feeling amazed at what their bodies can do when they are not being judged. I am truly blessed.
My practice while I'm at Caz is one of letting go of what it looks like from the outside and being with what immerges, what needs to immerge, and not what should immerge. "It's a beutiful thing" as Libby always says. And it is. That is what we are all doing together in this majical place - being with what is.
Even more amazing, than the classes themselves and the opportunity to learn new things, is something that can't fully be put into words. It's a feeling, a soulful, connected feeling, that can be experienced while there. People hang out together, talking, laughing, playing music, sharing meals and no one gets pulled away by a text or a phone call. In fact, on site there is no internet connection and no cell phone service. There is a land line that can be used to call on when needed, but nothing comes in on a device. Children of all ages, included teenagers, are talking to each other. No one is looking at a small screen. When questions arise, someone actually has to figure it out or accpet not knowing, because google is not available. Instead of seeking outside help, here people rely on each other for problem solving and support.
There are so many things that make Caz special: the campers, the staff, the kitchen team, the redwood trees, the music, the smell, the dirt, and for me espeically - spending two weeks with my children. Because I share custody of my children, we spend part of every week apart. Caz gives a chance to settle into a rhythm together, surrounded by community, while being together. It is a fantastic way to spend our time.
As we were leaving on Sunday to head back to Berkeley, Noah said he was already counting down the days until next summer at Cazadero. "Two weeks, Mama! We have to always go for two weeks!"
Thank you to all of the people who make Caz possible: Joelle, Libby, the Board, the fantastic staff of teachers, all of the people who help with set up and clean up, all of the families who attend, the kitchen staff, and the people at home who support us to go.
Until next year . . .