Unexpected Retreat

Updated: Jun 14

It's been a while. I even don't remember what retreat it is. I feel that it should be something about religious, yet it's about inner spiritual connections. Jasmin and I encountered one another as we walked at Kelsey Creek Farm in Bellevue, WA; Jasmin comes from Columbia, and she is bilingual like me. We quickly felt super-connected, so much so that she invited her American boyfriend Steven to join my dream vacation to Leavenworth, a German town. Taking my coworker's recommendation, we picked the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort lodging for the trip. I don't even know what the resort looks like, but we decided to take my coworker’s idea and just GO.

The three of us together, Jasmin, Steven, and I, created an enjoyable trip from our cross-cultural friendship. Steven is an innovative software engineer workings for a Chinese company in Bellevue, and he is learning and experiencing the collectivist culture that I grew up within Taiwanese culture. Jasmin has her vision to be a graphic designer soon, and she plans to join the art school in Bellevue. Her vision was mine when I was in my earlier 20s. I graduated from Art and craft school. My studies and experience in the state have greatly influenced me to be a different person. After moving to the USA, I am working an HR system job after graduating with MBA and human resources management. Currently, I work on an implementation project for the government. Most of my team are white; Steven and I are opposite in similar situations as a minority in the group.

Leavenworth is about a 2-hour drive from Bellevue. The sporadically crazy springtime weather along the drive was not surprising to us from the rain, snow, sun, and clouds all happening in one day. Steven’s great driving navigated us safely through the unpredictable weather conditions, and we finally arrived at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort’s gift shop. We walked inside the store to see the local handicrafts and get information on how to get to the resort’s check-in office. We were excited to get our trip started and head to the resort’s entrance when I; suddenly heard Steven “my God, what the hell is this?” he walked toward him; he stood in front of his car, looking down at the front license plate, we couldn’t believe that there was a dying bird with its body facing right up towards us.

We felt so troubled about the dying bird, Steven peacefully laid it to rest with an Amen- “may the bird rest in peace!”

With somber hearts, we arrived at the check-in office; soon, our collective sadness dramatically changed to the excitement, however, as we couldn't help but embrace the tranquil ambiance. The front desk gave us a detailed guide on having the perfect getaway at Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, including walking directions to our cabin. They also informed us about needing the luggage cart to get our bags to our enchanting cabin. It was fun to see Steven pushing the cart. He suddenly looked like a farmer: Jasmin made the cart behind Steven with giggles along the way, and I walked them to help them record the video. We saw ample land with many different cabins on the site, along the walking path, and many other artistic sculptures around the resort. We heard the birds and frog sounds, the great outdoors that instantly calmed our tired bodies.

“Alright, this is our cabin number 149,” Steven said. He took the key and pushed hard to open the door. I immediately checked the room and gasped. “This is a native American cabin. I ‘ve always dreamed about living in a house!; I love it so much; I wish I could have a home like this!” Suddenly, just like the little children, we three lay down on the bed; it was comfortable, just the right firmness. My bed was on the side of the wall, and I could see the green tree from the side window; it seemed like this sleeping area would be ideal for a family with a child. It’s finally time to relax after 2 hours of driving to the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. Still, Jasmin and I had so much energy that we decided to walk around the resort and let Steven enjoy some quiet time in the cabin alone.

Jasmin and I walked and smiled ear to ear since we both loved to be in nature. As fate had it, we passed by the resort gardener, who told us that we could walk along the trail to the other side of the land, where we could find a river sounded like the perfect adventure for us to discover the hidden gems we so desired. However, there was no “trail” up the mountain; it was, instead, broken trees and many small rocks on the ground. We strolled across the broken trees and miraculously avoided falling through the mess of rocks. Jasmin and I finally made it to the top’s incredible view beaming with excitement like little children. We looked over the mountain and saw a little red cabin on the far side, and we looked down into the valley and saw the river running as clear crystal. “Jasmin, go and stand on the big rock. I think it will be a stunning picture with the sunlight’s reflection. “Jasmin said, “Totally!” We helped one another shoot the sunlight reflection pictures at just the right angle. Dancing along also records a few videos. I never felt so free as when the wind blew on our face’s feelings of nature’s true healing and blessings.