This month’s cover photo was taken at our wedding which took place on September 3 on the lawn in front of the Retreat Center at Johnson’s Landing. Richard organized the ceremony starting Saturday with non-competitive games, circle dancing and then an after dinner a sing-a-long followed by fireworks. After breakfast on Sunday, the women had time to get dressed as the men practiced drumming down at the Group Room. They drummed their way up the hill and into the center of the women dancing on the lawn, a joining of the masculine and feminine forces. Afterwards we danced to one of my favorite circle dances entitled ‘As One.’ The words are so lovely I will share them…As One we walk this Earth together, As One we sing to her our song, As One we love her, As One we heal her. Her heart beats with our own As One.
The Wedding Dance (picture to far right) was lead by Britta Adkinson and following her guidance, we intertwined ourselves and ducked under the many hands that created a long arch for the finale. Dale Jukes was the minister who united us with our chosen vows. Our rings were passed around the circle of friends allowing each person to add their special blessings. We then slipped them on each other’s fingers after my four-year-old grand-daughter, Isabella, delivered them. She was dressed like a fairy.
You will find some of the images in the centerfold because many readers and friends asked to see them. After the ceremony, we had veggie paté and cheese cake and Richard brought forth a large present. I was speechless as I unwrapped an original painting by David Balcombe called ‘The Angel.’ We both fell in love with it when we first saw it. It was five years in the making and has hundreds of layers of paint and shellac, created in the tradition of the old masters of Europe. It has a three-dimensional quality to it which brings the angel to life.
In answer to a question that is often asked, we then told the story of how we met. My version is a bit long for our meeting happened at a time of many changes when I was letting go of my plans once again. So I started with the joke, “How do you make God laugh? …. Tell him your plans.”
I thought I was doing what God wanted because my angels talk to me a lot. They asked that I slow down and when I didn’t, I broke my hip, which forced me to re-think what I was doing. I remember lying there and thinking it would be nice to have a guy in my life to take care of me if this ever happened again. After the fall, I heard more clearly that I was to publish less often and when I responded, “I can’t afford to do that,” they repeated their request, which is something they seldom do. Since I didn’t believe that by publishing less I could pay all the bills, I compromised and said, “I will speak to the staff.” When Marcel and Samarpan came in the next morning, they suggested that we all take two weeks off every two months with no pay. This was something I hadn’t thought of but it sure excited them.
Several months later, my angel suggested that a man was coming into my life. My response was, “Then drop him in my lap,” meaning, “I am busy and don’t have time for dating, but if this is important, I will make the time.” Another four months passed and I was starting to wonder if I had heard right, so I figured I should put in a little effort. That night as Samarpan was leaving, she said, “What do you want to do with the Soul Mates column? No one has put in an ad.” I said “Leave it. I will figure it out later.” About 11 pm, I found myself staring at this small empty space where I could easily have put in a filler, but I was reminded that to manifest anything, it is easier if one puts it in writing, so I typed …“I am interested in meeting a spiritual man who is holistically minded, aged 45-55. Hopefully he will like to cook, live simply, enjoy meditating and yoga. Write c/o Box 2.” That was published in the February/March 2002 edition of Issues.
I got a few responses that I ignored for they didn’t fit my idea of what I was looking for. I needed someone to help run the place, someone who could help out with the bookstore or teach yoga and become involved in all that I was doing. At the beginning of March, I got a call from Richard. Webco had printed his Retreat Center brochures and he could not get to Penticton before they closed and was wondering if I had space to keep them. When he arrived in town, we went out for dinner and caught up with what was happening in our lives, for I enjoy getting to know my advertisers. I knew his wife Carol Ann had left the summer before and I was wondering how the Retreat Center had fared. After dinner, we returned to my office and he asked if I had a copy of Issues. I remember thinking, “What a strange question,” for they were everywhere, and I handed him one. He flipped through the pages and finally pointed to the Soul Mate ad and said, “Is that you?’ I was speechless and I wanted to say “no” but thought I should check in with my angels first. They said, “Speak the truth.” So I said “yes” and he asked me for a date. I said, “I’m pretty busy and will think about it.” As we loaded the calendars into his truck my mind reminded me of getting lost finding his place and my conversations with his wife, Carol Ann, several years earlier.
The next day my mind was saying “no” and my body was saying “yes.” I knew I had enough work if he wanted to move to Penticton. With his management and computer skills, we would make a good team, so I agreed to our first date. Towards the end of it, I asked if it would be all right to have an astrology reading done. The astrologer said there was enough ‘glue’ in the chart depending on our level of maturity. She said our biggest challenge would be in ‘steering the boat’ as we both had strong personalities, and if we fought over the steering wheel, we would surely sink.
Richard helped with the Spring Festival of Awareness and I travelled to Midway where he was working as a teacher to earn money to keep the Retreat Center afloat. Our connection deepened and as summer approached, I decided I would spend my vacation time at the Retreat Center to get a feel for it. At the end of the summer I was tired, Marcel was grumpy with me for being away so much and Gerry, my other business partner, was feeling the call to sell the Juicy Carrot and move on. I was feeling frustrated and almost shouted as I asked my angels, “Where do you want me… I can’t be in both places.”
There was no response but several weeks later a woman called and said, “Are you selling your old building?” I said, “I guess I am,” and as I hung up, I said “Dam it.” This was not what I wanted. I loved my life in Penticton and I loved Richard. We talked, but there was no way he was selling the Retreat Center, so it was up to me to make the move.
I felt deep into my bones and cried at the thought of letting go of all that I had worked for for the last ten years. I then felt an ease in my body as I thought of going with the flow. That evening while I was meditating, the building gave me a big hug and whispered that it was letting me go and I knew it was time to move on. It took a year before I felt settled at Johnson’s Landing but as life moves forward, my commitment is deepening as I help Richard develop a Light Centre. I am sure God is still smiling at my resistance to change, even though I feel I am very flexible.
Zachary Williams - 02/05/2023
Congratulations on completing your book.
Richard - 02/05/2023
Great to see your book is complete