Recently, the whole house plus a few of the QuEST Committee members (Joel and Gretchen) and the director (Alisa) left the city dust and electronics behind and entered into our fall retreat. John and Lee Neff generously let us use their peaceful and beautiful property overlooking Puget Sound just outside Kingston (Thank you!).

The Fellows chose Transitions as our theme. We each brought baby pictures and descriptions of our former selves, and had a challenge matching them with descriptions we wrote of ourselves now. We discussed our current transitions and how the community can support us. Joel led us in mindfulness exercises, and we had plenty of free time for beach walking, napping, and conversation.   A Saturday night bonfire allowed us to symbolically burn something from our past that we want to leave behind, and then make s’mores to top it all off!

Here’s a sample of the poetry from the weekend:

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves….
Don’t search for the answers,
which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
you will gradually, without even noticing it,
live your way into the answer.
—Rainer Maria Rilke


So every day

So every day

I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth

Of the ideas of God


One of which was you.

–Mary Oliver