This year was our teacher’s 10th Tai Chi camp at Walker Creek Ranch, as well as Lisa and my 6th camp that we attended with our teacher. The camp was a couple weeks ago from Sunday through Friday, June 22-27th, though I’ve only managed to find time to write about it now.
Every camp has been an incredible experience and always a very special week of great fellowship, learning, inspiration, and rejuvenation. This year’s camp had all of these qualities, but also was a very special one for us as we got engaged at the ranch just before camp started! The love and support we received from our fellow tai chi players was just phenomenal and something I will always look back with great appreciation.
The tai chi practice and learning itself was of course of great as usual. This year’s camp, like last year’s, was not one of the more physical camps, but again filled with a great deal of information. There were many times where a single sentence made a connection as a gem of information, or something that was described briefly illuminated a much larger concept that was until then hazy. The work we did on these concepts really did help to make progress in understanding them, especially all of the work and discussion on waist development.
Coming away from camp, there are some very clear things I will be focusing my attention on, and plenty of notes that I will go through to see what other gems of information I had missed initially. It was great too to be back in class yesterday and to have a nice medium intensity practice. It is a really great fortune that after camp we who live in the Bay Area can simply continue our practice with Lenzie in our weekly classes. I will be looking forward to taking what was learned at camp and continuing to work on these ideas during our classes at the school.
On Sunday, June 22nd, Lisa and I went to Tai Chi camp early, catching a ride with Julius and Jane as we have done so in the past, picking up people who took a bus from the SFO airport as well as putting up signs pointing the direction to camp. The weather was really quite gorgeous that day, and me being a bit anxious, asked Lisa if she wouldn’t want to take the usual small hike up the hill to the water tower, pushing a little to go sooner rather than later “in case the fog came in”.
After registering and dropping our bags off at the room, being hungry, we decided that rather than take the sandwiches we brought with us to the water tower to eat that we would just eat the sandwiches first in the kitchen area of our building before heading off. The sandwiches were good but after eating them I got a bit of a sinking feeling in my stomach due to nerves. I told Lisa that I thought my stomach wasn’t reacting well to the sandwich and she didn’t notice that I was just getting a bit nervous.
Just before heading up the hill, we packed some books to read for after visiting the water tower. This was all inline with things we had done before at Tai Chi camp: registering, unpacking, having lunch, and going to read before the first dinner meal of camp when everyone had arrived. So with books in tow, we walked up the hill, enjoying the beautiful weather. We got to the top of the trail where the Water Tower was, sat down on a bench, and just spent a little time looking around at the beautiful scenery. After taking a couple pictures and a little bit of just general talk about the wonderful view, I started to tell Lisa how much she meant to me, took the ring from my jacket pocket and presented it to her, asked her to marry me. She very quickly said yes! We hugged and kissed, continued to talk for quite some time, sat there in the midst of the beautiful landscape, and it was all very beautiful…
Today, Lisa and I are celebrating six years of being together. It’s amazing to look back and see our relationship develop, from our friendship in college, to our times together when she visited me in New York, to moving to California and living life together. We’ve had some great times and memories, traveled together to places I would hardly have thought possible years ago, and grown both as individuals and as a couple. I’m happy to celebrate both our engagement and our time together and look forward to our time ahead.