dekoven2017October 13–15, 2017, the Women’s Connection Fall Retreat at the DeKoven Center in Racine, took place. It was a rainy weekend, but the sun was shining in our hearts. Our keynote speaker was Shelley Graff, the Goddess’ own Songstress. Women gathered from Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri. The theme for the conference was “Within,” accessing the wise counsel that we all share but can often be drowned out by the demands of daily life and our own expectations. Having a break to honor “Within” was precious.

Our First Summer Retreat

We gathered in Trilogy Lodge at Ronora Lodge and Retreat Center in Watervliet Michigan in mid-August 18-20. Our theme was "Coming Home to Our Selves". Catered gourmet Vegan meals, nourishing workshops, wildflower walks and worship circles made up this weekend "back to the land" on the 400+ acres of woodland and lake within the spirit-filled place called Ronora. A few workshops, plus time to explore, relax, drum, sing and commune with nature and each other.

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This year I drove up to Racine alone. As I pulled into the drive I felt tensions, anxieties, and outside worries melt away. Soon I was greeting old friends and setting up this year’s raffle. All events this year were held in the main meeting place, it makes it a more intimate event with everyone being in the same place all weekend.

Dinner Friday is the first time we all get together and say hello. As always the food at the DeKoven Center was very tasty, especially the dessert.

After dinner we all gathered together to call the directions. This fall the guiding element was Spirit. We were led in this by Pat Hyams. We had brought items to put on the altar to represent our own spirit.

Almost everyone brought items to put in this year’s raffle and I had fun setting up the tables and selling raffle tickets. A special thank you to Pat for donating the drum.

Twice a year I look forward to getting together with a very special group of women, in the spring at Princeton Park and fall at DeKoven Center. Our last gathering was this spring in Princeton Park. It was a beautiful spring weekend where we spent time in groups and sometimes by ourselves.

On Friday we had dinner together and met two women who had driven from Nebraska that day to join us for the weekend. I love looking around and seeing familiar faces and new faces and to know I have a whole weekend to spend with them and get to know them better.

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