The Desert Wildlife
I arrived while it was still daylight and found my room. The first thing I noticed was the stillness of the campus on that Sunday evening. It was so peaceful. I dropped my bags off in my room and headed for the main lodge.
I sat in the La Mirada room in the main lodge and enjoyed the views from the large windows that look out on the campus. I just took a few breaths as I took in the beauty of the scenery. The beautiful green grass, the large tree (the biggest tree I have seen in Arizona so far), the flowering bushes, and the fountain were all being explored by hummingbirds, butterflies, and some other birds which I could not identify (one was a beautiful little bright yellow bird).
It was hard to be anything but relaxed while noticing all the beauty of the desert. Being a lover of little creatures, I decided to walk outside to see what other ones I could find. There were so many little lizards running around on the ground by the plants, my eyes could barely keep up with all of them. I heard an owl hooting in a tree very close by but as much as I tried, I could not see it. The most beautiful thing I saw was an ocotillo plant with about five to seven hummingbirds feeding off of it. I have never seen so many hummingbirds at one time!
The Peace and Quiet
Later that evening, before going into my room for the night, I decided to sit outside for a little bit to wind down and further enjoy the all the desert has to offer. With the absence of city lights, the stars were truly spectacular! I could see some lights from the town off in the distance and I could see a few cars traveling on a road but I could only faintly hear the sound of cars. What I could hear were the songs of the crickets and the running water of the fountains on the grounds. I took some deep breaths and I could smell the sweet fragrance of desert flowers. I moved closer to one fountain after I thought I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I got closer and noticed about four frogs leaping in and around the water, playing with one another and just seeming to enjoy the night.
I made my way to my room and laid on the bed for the first time, I loved the cushy white comforter! I was very pleased to see that I had my own thermostat to control the temperature of my room. I made it a little warmer so that I could take a warm shower before bed. The water pressure was outstanding, it was enough to give me a little back massage to relax me even more. I decided to turn the room temperature down so that I could enjoy the warmth of that plush comforter and I left the fan on so that it would drown out any noise that I might hear from other rooms as I drifted off to sleep.
Upon waking the next morning, I noticed that I did not hear any noise coming from the other rooms while I had the fan running. I enjoyed another massaging shower and went to explore the desert morning before heading to breakfast.
The Great Beginnings
I had missed the sunset the night before and did not want to miss the sunrise. The sunrise was amazing, with the colors of the desert just lighting up with the gold sunlight of the morning sun. It was slightly chilly outside and the air just smelled and felt so brisk and fresh. I sat outside for a while, breathing in the morning air and listening to the sounds of nature waking up. The horses must have been waking up about the same time as me because could hear them for the first time since arriving. I sat there long enough to watch as they came out onto the field. Two of them were noticeably friendly with one another. I watched them for a short time before heading inside to start my day. I was greeted by a fantastic breakfast and felt ready to start a week of work and healing, cocooned in by the safety of nature and nourished by the abundance my surroundings.
Book Your Stay Today
When you register for one of our intensive workshops, you can also book your stay at the new Rio Retreat Bunkhouse. The added benefits of staying at the Bunkhouse include free transportation to and from the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport and extra time spent in on campus in our peaceful, beautiful, and wholly-therapeutic environment. And, if you register for a workshop between now and June 30, you’ll receive a 25 percent discount on workshop registration fees. (Discount does not apply to Bunkhouse room rates.) Rooms are available on a first come, first served basis, so we recommend that you book your stay well in advance. Call 800-244-4949.