Shadow’s Sanctuary By Lisa Nieves

I recently went on vacation without my family. Just me.  Nowhere exotic, just away.  I stayed in a nice hotel in a sleepy little town.  I had all those little amenities usually associated with hotels; coffee/tea pot at the ready, massaging shower heads, tiny fancy-smelling soaps, big puffy pillows, etc. 

     I enjoyed one of the simple pleasures of being away from home. My wardrobe was chosen before leaving home.  Clothes coordinated and fit just right; accessories were always complimentary. No frustration about what to wear. All the planning and work was done. Getting ready was a breeze.

     I had only a few fixed activities planned over the course of four days so I had plenty of time to lounge about, meander through town and soak in the hot tub. I awoke refreshed each morning and coaxed the day with a nice hot cup of flavored tea.  I meditated and honored God & Goddess each night after a luxurious bubble bath, then retired to the comfy billows of a king size bed with a steamy novel and another hot cup of tea.

     I witnessed the sunrise on the Summer Solstice from an ancient Native American site, Ft. Ancient.  A Sacred Site where ancient peoples built mounds that align perfectly with solar and lunar dates.  I witnessed the Solstice Sunset at another Sacred Site, The Great Serpent Mound. The coils of the snake also align perfectly with solar and lunar dates. I took many pictures and met new people.  I returned to my hotel feeling closer to Mother Nature and with the renewed knowledge that we are all connected; Earth, Sky, and Humankind.

     I returned home calm, collected, relaxed and a bit spoiled from the convenience of hotel life.  I wanted to hold on to that feeling for as long as possible.  I immediately started transforming my bedroom from a place where I sleep to ‘Shadow’s Sanctuary’. I removed clothes, accessories and other ‘stuff’ that no longer thrill me. I cleared off a dresser in my bedroom and brought out the seldom used mini coffeemaker.  A drawer now houses tea, a small tub of sugar and necessary utensils.  I pressed all of my clothes and hung them by color in the closet.  I hung soft fabric on the rails of my cast iron canopy bed.  I keep a small folding table under the bed to hold a light meal or tea service. I moved my collection of ambient music cd’s to the bedroom so I can escape on a whim. I gathered my scented bath oils and soaps and favorite shampoo/conditioner into small containers that I can carry in a small caddy, along with a candle and a novel, to the tub for a leisurely soak.

      I have also made small changes to my daily routine so I can experience that ‘on vacation’ feeling every day.  Each evening I fill the in-suite coffeemaker and prepare my travel mug with tea and sugar.  Each morning when I wake, I flip on the switch.  While I’m getting ready, which is now a breeze because everything that fits is at my fingertips and ready to wear, my tea is brewing.  I now have time to enjoy a leisure cup before work in my quiet sanctuary and always have an escape after a hectic day. The stress of my life hasn’t changed but its now easier to deal with it in a healthy way.

     I spent only a few days away from home but the peace and serenity I experienced and my refreshed connection with God & Goddess has endured long after getting back to ‘real life’.



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