Thursday, April 26, 2012

Coming To The Table Gathering Richmond Hill, Virginia

In March I had the opportunity to join a group of descendants of slaves, slave owners and slave traders at The Coming to the Table ( conference. Coming to the Table (CTTT) is an organization that "provides leadership, resources and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery." The weekend was filled with tears, stories, connections, awareness and friendship (newly formed and reconnections).


The conference was held in the sacred space of Richmond Hill Virginia. Richmond Hill (RH) is "an ecumenical retreat center based on prayer, healing, hospitality and reconciliation."  The retreat center is distinctively Christian, but welcomes people of other faiths who chose to worship there. Richmond Hill houses a full-time residential community that supports the operation of the retreat center. One special feature I enjoyed was the rhythm of prayer at RH - prayer or silence is expected 3 times a day for 15 minutes (7am, 12 noon and 6 pm). I welcomed the ringing of the bells as an opportunity in reflect and spiral inwards towards prayer and contemplation.

The Labyrinth

Of course, I was thrilled to find out they have a beautiful labyrinth. I walked the path several times during the weekend including early morning as the sun was rising and late at night with the City of Richmond lights illuminating the path.

Basketball Anyone?

And's not all work/prayer and no play! I loved the basketball hoop especially since Play and Leisure have been my field of study!

Cupola and view of Richmond

The Cupola sits alone on top of the retreat center and overlooks the City of Richmond. With windows on all 4 sides, a table to hold my morning coffee and cushioned chairs to support me, the cupola offered a special space to sit, meditate and write. I wrote the following poetry sketch in the comfort of the cupola.

Growing Into Oneself

Growing up
Growing older
Growing into oneself
How does one grow into oneself?
Why is it so painful?
Is the pain caused by the expansion of oneself?
Does this leave room for more?
More understanding...
More love...
More pain...
More compassion...
Arm's open
Christ on the cross
Acceptance and love
Speak less - listen and love more.

fuzzy photo from the garden!

Stay tuned for more on this amazing journey with CTTT...and think about joining me in Richmond Hill in August for an overnight retreat!

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