smooth zen stone agains rust colored sand

Wise Eating, Self-Acceptance, Heart Nourishment & Presence


On a Friday hike in the Berkshires, seven-year-old Lawson and I hop logs and dodge mud. She names the trail we walk “the eyeball path. It’s round and big. See how my eyeballs go down on the bottom and then up around, like this path?” 

We take her picture so I can show her parents near Boston. I click send. She sniffles, “Can we Face-time mommy and daddy?” 


She covers her face and says, “My eyes are watery.”

When she sees her mom on the screen, she fake-smiles into my phone. Her mom notes her expression and asks, “You ok?”  

She nods. Her mom’s gaze finds mine. My look says, “Right now is hard.” 

This is my birthday gift to my granddaughter, a trip to a retreat center for ‘Yoga and Art for Kids.’ She’s homesick. I kneel to her eyeball level, and say, “I’ll stay with you as long as you want. You’ll never have to look for me.”

She wipes tears with the long sleeve of her white t-shirt. Then we enter the dining room for dinner, and spot a family with a young girl, Mia, about Lawson’s size. Lawson says, “Let’s sit there.”

We join them. Lawson and Mia whisper, giggle, chat, and then wonder, “Is this a program we’re doing? Camp? Class? What do we call it?”

7:00. Time for session one, orientation for grown-ups about their weekend. Twenty six children ages five to twelve. I ask one of the seven teachers, “May I stay?”

 “Of course.”  

Mia, 9, and Lawson, decide together, “This is boring.” 

I play the initial get-to-know-you game, and then ask Lawson, “Is it ok if I leave for awhile to unpack?” 

She squiggles closer to Mia’s yoga mat and says, “OK.” 

I ask, “Do you want me to check in on you or see you at the end?”

She looks at smiling Mia. They hook arms and Lawson waves me off, “…at the end.” 

As I leave, Mia’s six-year-old brother shows me a pile of stapled paper. “I made this book. It’s called ‘Emotions.'”

 We sit on a mat and turn the pages; each names an emotion and has a related drawing. Happy. Sad. Angry. Scared. Lost. I say, “Awesome. Everyone has feelings like scared, lost, mad, sad, or glad.” 

I want Lawson to see the “lost” page, and find the girls balancing on yoga blocks. I point out the sketch and say, “You know how we felt lost at first… had trouble finding our way?”

 She shakes her head no. “I wasn’t lost.”

I say, “How we weren’t sure where that eyeball path led, then your eyes watered?”

Her arm swishes, “Oh, ya. I forgot.” 

I said, “You can remember this next time you go adventure-ing. How feelings change. How you felt one way to start and then a new way later. You can trust yourself on adventures to make friends and get comfortable with what was uncomfortable.” 

She squints, “mmm,” then turns to Mia to ask, “Do you know how to play the bubblegum game?” 

Lawson and Mia land on “program” as a name for their “Yoga and Art for Kids” weekend, which ends on Mother’s Day. In a clattering dining room, we Face-time her mom who tells Lawson how much she loves her. Lawson says, “I can’t hear you. Bye.” 

She clicks the red circle, hands me my phone and returns to Mia as they sing-song, “Bubblegum, bubblegum in a dish.  How many pieces do you wish?….” 

Adventures are like that. 

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