Weekend Review: Pigs + Parents in TN

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Weekend Review

I crawled out from under my faux down comforter Friday morning and peeked onto a big box parking lot in Jamestown, Tennessee. That morning we were headed to the Pig Preserve and I was like a little girl Christmas morning eager to unpack her stocking.

Tim, Mookie, and I headed south Thursday afternoon in the vintage camper that toted us around Northern America during the 2013 Tranquility Tour. After an eight-hour drive, we pulled into that parking lot to rest and await the next morning’s festivities.

Touring the Pig Preserve for three hours with the founder Rich Hoyle was an honor. We expected a downpour but the rain held out for our entire visit. He carried us along on his tractor to visit the various herds nesting like royalty on his picturesque 100-acre property. I snuggled up to a variety of farm and potbelly pigs, met a wild boar, and bonded with his rescue dogs. His female pit/lab mix insisted on riding up front in the tractor with us. She’d wrap her arms around me and begin humping my right side if I got in and took her place. I quickly learned to let her in first.

Next we headed to the University of Tennessee so I could get more scoop on their Veterinary Social Work certificate. When I found the flier for this program in the bottom of my swag bag at a recent therapy conference, my heart raced. I tucked the flier inside my Daybook and have carried it everywhere since finding it. Synchronicity.

Finally we headed to Gatlinburg to meet up with my parents for the next few days. My father was there to take a photography workshop so we spent hours exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Mom and, of course, Mookie. The dense forest, layered mountains, and smoke-like fog were mesmerizing and the perfect backdrop for numerous photos.

After another overnight stay in a big box parking lot somewhere in Virginia last night, we made it back to DC this afternoon with a full heart. Hard to believe yesterday at this time we were deep in the Smokie mountains. It’s almost discombobulating to shift so quickly among settings.

May and June are overflowing with an assortment of travels: trainings, hosting retreats, going on retreat, visiting family, another Garth concert (I mean, it’s been nearly two months!), and attending conferences. The abundance of away time wasn’t intentional and once I realized that every weekend from late April to early July was filled, I shook my head. How can so many things of interest be happening in such a short amount of time?! Once this passes, I’ll be full of new information and (hopefully) inspiration and most eager to nest.

As I move into a three-day week before heading to Pittsburg for a Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference, I’m grateful to sleep in a non-moving enclosure, see clients, teach mindfulness at Tranquil Space, and brush my teeth with running water. Although falling asleep to the sound of rain pelting the camper’s metal roof and the stream outside our window at the campground is hard to beat. Bisous. x

Savvy Sources

Why New Yorkers Have Always Worn Black
Farm Sanctuary’s New York Hoe Down
7 Ways to Display Photos at Home
Beginner’s Body Scan Practice
New York Times: A Humane Revolution
Emilie Wapick Ted Talk: Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling
The Crossroads of Should and Must
The Richness of Everyday Life