Sunday, November 1, 2015

Atlanta retrospective

Sandy Barrett has been our guest blogger as we prepared for Mark Webb's Aromatic Medicine course in Atlanta in mid-October.   I had planned to write an article about the amazing experience we had, the wealth of knowledge both among the students... (imagine having Sylla Sheppard-Hanger AND Gabriel Mojay AND  Lora Carbo Cantele AND Roz Zollinger as fellow students!)  and that Mark shared was amazing. And it was FUN.  
Class photo:

At any rate, having been away for (counting on my fingers...) SIX days, I found there was no time to THINK let alone write about the trip.  (Sandy, on the other hand, has already transcribed her class notes, while they are fresh in her mind. And I think she'd done most of the homework assigned before part two, in March.)  At any rate, Sandy shared her reminiscences.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve only returned from Georgia two weeks ago.   Since then, I’ve been back to work, attended Lamaze class with my daughter, and the last of summer has faded away to fall colors and cooler days.
  Leaving Georgia was bittersweet.  Of course we missed our families, and our own beds, knew we had responsibilities to return to, were concerned about kids and pets we left behind, and were anxious to begin experimenting with things we had learned.  But I met so many people - some I didn’t have nearly enough time with, some I didn’t get a chance to talk with until the last day and wanted more time to get to know.  Some it was so hard to leave behind due to the instant connection we had made.
  You would think picking up a total stranger in another state and traveling for another 4 or 5 hours would be an awkward experience.  It it was totally out of character for me.  For that matter, driving across the country by myself was out of character!
  The instant I met Marge was confirmation that she was no stranger.  She truly is the person I’ve been talking to for all of this time.  Yes, we laughed – we laughed the entire trip about silly things.  This was a good thing, because I don’t think she realized how white knuckle I was driving through the mountains, praying that it wouldn’t storm.   The double rainbow in Chattanooga was an amazing site to see, one no picture taken while driving down the road could do justice to.
      As we learned new things in class each day, Mark would turn to Marge and ask if she would source this or that so that we would be able to easily obtain the items needed to practice at home what we were learning.  As I watched her list grow daily, I wondered how long it would take for her to source all of these things. Surely it would take months?!   Some are already available.  That’s Marge.
  Each day began with a message from Mark at 4:30 a.m., telling us to get our skates on.  It was a treat to stand on the balcony each morning, watching the sunrise as I drank my coffee, reflecting on what I’d learned the day before.
  Someone asked me how long I’d known Mark Webb and how we’d met.  I was confused by the question at first, as this was my first time meeting him.  She was surprised by that, explaining that we appeared to already be good friends, so she assumed that we had already met. (Marge's comment... could that have been the day you walked up and gave him a kiss on the cheek?)
That’s Mark.  He is a very approachable, unpretentious, light-hearted, slightly sarcastic person who happens to be very passionate about aromatics.  He had his work cut out for him with 50 of us in the class, but he took it all in stride and kept the class moving along.
  Sylla Sheppard Hanger has been a huge influence in my journey with the oils.  She spent many nights talking me through concepts that confused me, referencing resources for me to look into.  Actually meeting her was very emotional for me, and I found that when we hugged goodbye, it was very hard to let go.
  Kristina Bauer is currently working on a documentary called Uncommon Scents in effort to enlighten people about the power and benefits of essential oils.  I encourage everyone to google and support this project.    Her passion for her project affects others, so much so that Mark had little difficulty encouraging others to sponsor the project, moving it several steps ahead into becoming a reality. A class segment and after class forum will form a trailer for the movie. Stay tuned for further developments.

  Each day we trudged out our rooms feeling groggy and sleep deprived, but it was as if the sight alone of the building we were learning in energized everyone, and we were ready for another heady day of learning.  (Or maybe that was Mark's Aromatic Chai?)
    The drive home was comfortable, but more subdued.  We were tired and already thinking about those things we had to do when we got back home.  Our conversations were less silly and more poignant.  We both had reached that point where we comfortable sharing those things that make us who we are.   I don’t recall being white knuckled as we passed over the mountains, this time taking in the astounding beauty that only the mountains can present. 
  The months between now and March will be filled with time spent with my grandson, the arrival of another grandson, the holidays, and of course, work.   But it will also be filled with much learning, as I delve into not only the assignments that Mark has given us, but the self-imposed learning I have planned between now and then.    Hopefully that will sustain me until it is once again time to pick up my friend, drive over the mountains, and return to Georgia for another awe-inspiring week of learning.

Sandy personifies a phrase I have used often through the years, "a friend I'd not met yet."  I don't know when she started calling me "Mom"... but my daughter better make room,  because I truly have found another daughter.  

One of the reasons I wanted to post this is to encourage all our readers out there, if you EVER have a chance to get to a "gathering"...whether it is a course offering, a conference,  an regional AIA meeting, take advantage of it. Not only will you learn more about these oils and aromatics that we love, but you will find friends and family that you hadn't known you had.  An opportunity not to be missed.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You both sound like amazing women. I enjoyed both passages ladies!