Debra Prinzing

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A sweet retreat

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Nothing like getting away from the daily grind – to a distant and beautiful place where nature commands my attention. I have written about Ojai (pronounced Oh-Hi) before. It is a very special historic town, located about 1 hour north of Thousand Oaks, where I live.

How is it possible that a mere seven days after the so-called HOLIDAYS, we are back to normal routines that exhaust us and keep us distracted from our inner thoughts and honest conversations with ourselves? What happened to those resolutions anyway?

The door tag in our hotel room read: “Seeking Serenity” rather than “Do Not Disturb.” It implies a choice, an intentional decision, rather than a command or a warning. I like that notion.

My youngest son and I tagged along on my husband’s school retreat at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. This is the type of 5-star destination one can’t justify paying for out of personal funds [although we did pay for it (indirectly) through his graduate school tuition].

The gardens, setting, and plants made for a serene, visual sort of therapy. Our 7-1/2 mile bike ride on Sunday morning added to the sense of respite and rejuvenation.

Too soon we had to return to the everyday. But the 24-hour getaway was a reminder that whenever we can leave behind the commonplace – and instead seek nature, wilderness, gardens or plants – we are intentionally moving toward serenity in our lives.