Missives from the Mat — 3: Departure #growth #yoga #retreat #mindfulness #family


I arrived at the airport on time to pick-up the two people who needed a ride to the retreat.

I had initially planned to take a shuttle myself, thus imposing the reality that submission was unavoidable and that I was in for the long haul. They needed someone with a big car. That someone was me.

Instead of seeing this as a way “out” of complete attunement to the program, I decided this was “destiny” telling me that I was committed; these people would need a ride back to the airport after all, and I would be the one to take them.

This retreat house is glorious. Let me back up — any place can be a retreat; even your own bath tub. It’s a simple confluence of the action, the spirit, and intention that make any place a retreat. Ok, it’s a giant log cabin. It has air conditioning, which is nice, given the fact that it’s also in Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains.

This is my view from where I’m writing:


Some people are camping. I determined that roughing it for me was going to be 16 days without Cap’n Crunch.

Departure from home was mostly uneventful. The boys all huddled me and hugged me together for a bit. Thing 1 who is 15 was doing a great job of being mature and composed, that made me a little sad… Thing 2 was very emotional, which I had anticipated. He had a hard time keeping it together, which did me no favors and we both started crying a bit on each other. I had to stop myself from saying, “Don’t be sad, I’ll be back…” because I’d be a hypocrite. I was sad too. So I had to allow him his sadness. What I didn’t want though was for it to become a Barbra Streisand movie, like “Prince of Tides.”

When he and I got ourselves together, Thing 3 was standing arms akimbo in the doorway, “I’m not letting you go. You have to stay. I will teach you yoga.” Then I got on my knee and I hugged him and he lost it. So I lost it again. I told him I’d try to “Facetime” them as often as was reasonable and that I suspected the coverage at this retreat was spotty.

All of this happened before my husband got home to see me off. As I was packing up my car and throwing my purse straps over my shoulder, he pulled up. “I thought it was 2:45 when you were leaving.”

“No, I said it took 45 minutes to get to the airport, and that I had to be there by 3:00 and …” I trailed off. We were on the fringe of having one of our classic pre-trip departure fights. We’d actually not had one in years, ever since I figured out that the reason I got mad every time he left for a trip was to basically create distance between us so that my vulnerability was protected (lie) and that I’d have an easier time being alone. So we just looked at each other and my eyes teared up.

The whole time I looked into his beautiful blue eyes, I was growing sadder but more confident; he has this way of conveying to me strength without saying a word. It was like I could say, “I’m going to rock this, but I am sad about it…” I hugged him and said, “I’m going to miss you most of all.”

“You better!” he said.

We have a way of “signing off”; we’ve done it for years, it’s just sort of happened. We were patting each other on the back and we stopped at the same time and we said, “I love you,” and I walked to the car.

Thing 1 was not far behind. Just as I stepped into the car, he came in for one more landing and hugged me a long time and finally said, “I’ll miss you, mom.”

When I turned over the engine and put the car in the right direction, I waved to them all and I shouted, “We will all grow! We will all grow! This is good! I love you all!” I turned me head and didn’t look back. Didn’t check the side view or the rear view mirrors either.

So I rode to the airport by myself. (“Rode”; thats funny, but I’ll keep it. I am a rider and a driver on this journey.)

I was on my way. I WAS ON MY WAY!!

The weather on departure day was truly sublime: sunny, low humidity, high 70s, and a light breeze; like the breeze in a White Snake video. It was the kind of weather that is so atypical around here, the armpit of the eastern seaboard, that it automatically sets you in the frame of mind that surely something awful is about to happen.

Just kidding. But I think you know what I mean.

When I picked up the riders, we talked a lot; shared some parts of ourselves. We were anxious, we all admitted It. We had about a 90-minute ride and I wasn’t going to be silent the whole time. I needed to expel some of my nervous energy.

Our ride was uneventful. We arrived about 4:30 and thus began a journey that I can tell you already, after just 50 hours, is going to change my life.

I wish everyone I know could be here. I wish everyone with an emotional catch, a hitch, a fear, a doubt, a wonder, a moment of vulnerability (so that means all of us) could be here.

The Kundalini yoga is unlike anything, ANYTHING, I’ve ever experienced. It’s not a religion, it’s based totally on movement, breathing, energy and sound and vibration and consciousness and brings it to a cellular level. It’s awesome, heavy-duty brain stuff and it’s blowing my mind already. I’m in love.

I initially named this post “Arrival.” But then I realized it was more about my departure. Not only my departure from my home and family for the duration of this retreat, but God willing, my departure from my patterns of self-limiting thoughts, small-minded thinking, judgement against others, reactivity and fear.

I will write more soon, but I wanted to say hi to both of you and let you know I appreciate your comments on my previous post and that I am thinking of you all and holding nothing but light and love in my heart for you all.

Thank you.

About Grass Oil by Molly Field

follow me on twitter @mollyfieldtweet. i'm working on a memoir and i've written two books thus unpublished because i'm a scaredy cat. i hail from a Eugene O'Neill play and an Augusten Burroughs novel but i'm a married, sober straight mom. i write about parenting, mindfulness, irony, personal growth and other mysteries vividly with a bit of humor. "Grass Oil" comes from my son's description of dinner i made one night. the content of the blog is random, simple, funny and clever. stop by, it would be nice to get to know you. :)

12 responses »

    • Kat, could you feel me today? Like around 3? God, I wish you were here. You would eat all of this up. It’s incredible. I was sending to and E love. Mostly you though, you’re such an inspiration to me. (No offense to E…. 😉 )

      I will write more. Thank you.

      Peace and love,


  1. What a beautiful setting! I am glad that you are doing this, after wanting it for so long. I believe there is a time and purpose for everything. To a degree, fate I guess. I hope that you are inhaling deep and taking everything in and walk away from this with a renewed spirit and appreciation for yourself. I am sure it is a much needed get away that not only your mind and body needed, but more importantly your soul too. I am sure your whole family will share to some extent in this awareness, because “Mom” is not there to help out. Everyone, as you stated you will “Grow” from it……..I think your onto something Molly……..I need to go pack my bags now and go away for 2 weeksI


    • It did clear my head. I didn’t see the internet for days; mostly by choice. Didn’t write on the computer much either. I tried to write a post while I was in the midst of it, but it was somehow wrong-seeming; as if that taking the time to write it stole from my limited time being there; which it would have. The one post I did manage to upload, this one, was very taxing. The photo didn’t work at first, then the wifi (jetpack mobile) would go in and out; some people wouldn’t get off the wifi… the level of “I GOTTA STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD!” energy at times was extremely… unhealthy. I had to dial back; some people were totally neurotic about it. My thought: this is $3500. I can get online when I need to… people can contact my trainers if an emergency comes up.

      It was very good; the whole thing. I will be writing more about it, but it will be coming back in trickles.

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