• Shana Ritter

Ghost Ranch Retreat

When the boundaries of my heart are blurred it is time to retreat into the words held in that small cave: the place that is sweetly damp with the scent of dream and memory, where paths lead into woods, and streams shimmer with darting minnows and the breeze carries the hush of a trees

While most of my childhood was spent on city streets, the songs of jump rope, the ping of the rock in hopscotch, the cracks of sidewalks, it is the shorter times of country that I retreat to , a place of quiet where words can emerge like hummingbirds, light and fast, suspending time, at first glance fragile but size belies their strength and endurance, their wings blurring light, and therefore time itself.

To retreat: To withdraw, to pull back, to reflect and reassess and then re-enter, reignited, renewed.

I used to think this could be done on occasion, now I believe we realign our choices not only day by day but hour by hour, the path shifts, the shifting geography of daily life requires constant refocusing, not with reactionary or rigid vigilance but rather with the compassion of the curving path I draw as I walk it.

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