|sunset from Menucha Conference Center (April 8, 2016)|
In early April, I spent a weekend at the Menucha Conference Center up in the Gorge for a retreat hosted by the Pink Lemonade Project. The facilitators were kind, funny, and empathetic; the food was healthy, tasty, and ever-plentiful (I was apparently unused to eating three regular meals and not having to cook or do dishes), my fellow breast cancer survivors were inspiring, beautiful humans; and the retreat felt restful and healing, though packed with activity and talk.
Menucha, an old homestead-turned-summer estate in Corbett, Oregon, built by the Julius Meier family (of Meier & Frank fame), who hosted U.S. Presidents Hoover and FDR around the time that Meir was Oregon Governor, is now owned and operated by the First Presbyterian Church of Portland as a retreat and conference center for nonprofit organizations.
|white blossoms at Menucha|
We had quiet, private rooms with lovely hillside views in the Creevey Complex. Pink Lemonade staff left each of us a thoughtful gift basket full of assorted pink treats and a tiny potted dahlia, as well as scheduling relaxing Saturday afternoon massages. Although it was too early in the season for the swimming pool, I walked the labyrinth path and along a shady forested trail during breaks.
|lilacs at Menucha|
|bleeding hearts, Columbia Gorge|
|rusty vintage metal & wire gate on Menucha grounds|
|hazy Columbia Gorge (April 2016)|
|turkey vulture, Columbia Gorge|
|sunset at Menucha (April 9, 2016)|
(Thank you, Pink Lemonade, OHSU, and Menucha!)
Tip: If you haven't time or resources for a weekend retreat somewhere like Menucha, the Labyrinth Society's Labyrinth Locator can help you find a free walkable labyrinth near you, either solo or with friends or family. Skipping churches, I could, for example, check out the labyrinths at Marylhurst Heights Park in West Linn, the Happy Valley City Hall, the Sunnyside Kaiser Hospital, Legacy Meridian Park in Tualatin, or the Min Zidell Healing Garden at the Natural College of Natural Medicine in downtown Portland.