The place: Cispus Learning Center at Summer 2012 Unitreat
This is really an amazing place to be. Words can't describe this experience, but I'm going to try. Imagine this: You are taking a long drive, you don't know where you are going. You go down a winding road, which seems to never end. The city lights are far behind you. Slowly, houses start to fade to the occasional farm house. Telephone poles fade into trees. Cars fade into animals. Finally you make it, you're are in the middle of nowhere. Where are you?
Paradise. All your wildest dreams can be fulfilled. The sky isn't the limit, but just the first step. Strangers are not strangers, but immediate friends. Your group isn't just a group, but a family. Imperfections are imperfect, but are seen as the utmost perfection. Dreams aren't unreachable, but achievable. Negative judgment doesn't exist. You spend what seems like forever. Forever in a good way, forever in the sense that it should never end. But it does. One by one pieces of your paradise just disappear into thin air. You are back on the road, but it's different this time. You know where you’re going, you know where you've been. Animals back into cars, trees into telephone poles, stars into city lights. It's all changing... quickly.
Suddenly your back home, next to the fire, back to technology, in the warmth of your own bed. You reflect on your time there. The calendar says it's been a few days, but it's been longer. Soon it starts to sink in. The lessons, the friendships, the songs. You miss it terribly, but deep down you know you reached your full potential. You were there as long as you were intended to be.
That is my experience. Going back is almost the same as going the first time. You never know what going to happen. This kind of experience that may not come to you the first time. You have to be open. Open to learn, and open to teach. Open to follow, and open to lead. Open to see, open to believe. It could take a few tries to find your paradise. There is a place for everyone here. Some find it the first day, others find it the last. It's all relative. Going back is like going back home. You always have that base to go back too. No matter what it will always be there. Though it's paradise, you can't be there too long. This is not reality, but a fantasy. Don't waste a good thing. You know you have gotten the full experience if you feel you have been dreaming awake.