Monday, June 11, 2012

Heaven on Earth

TBG and I are back from a week of bliss.  Mel and Enid Zuckerman, founders of Canyon Ranch, treated us to a week of healthy living here in Tucson.  The offer was extended to all of us who were there on January 8th and, eighteen months later, I felt as if I were up to the challenge.  It's a beautiful property - a very big and hilly beautiful property, if the truth be told.  I took my hiking poles and a positive attitude as well as every bit of exercise clothing I owned. 

We didn't need anything dressy.  According to Kendal, the lovely lady with the lilting laugh, there were three dining areas; guests are asked not to wear their bathrobes in the main dining room.  Beyond that, it's very relaxed.

Relaxed is an understatement.  You have to love a place where the gate keeper tells you to turn right at the shadow... not the stop sign to its right, but the shadow.  From the beginning, we were using a different frame of reference.  It felt great.

Our room wasn't ready when we arrived, and our bodies were not up to a walking tour of the grounds in the mid-afternoon heat, so we clambered aboard the first of our many golf carts and tried to get the lay of the land.  Our tour guide was amusing and amused.  "In here, for your pleasure or amusement, are the tarot reader, the clarivoyant and the numerologist," she said as we breezed by one of the low stucco structures dotting the landscape. 

By the end of the week, having heard from more than a few fellow guests that the clarivoyant had commented on issues about which she couldn't possibly know anything at all, that she had details no one in Arizona shared, having spent day after day in a place where the energy was palpable, that building looked more and more beguiling.

We shared a class that first afternoon.  Blissful Stillness was exactly that, as far as I was concerned.  A gentle, restorative yoga practice, there were four postures in 45 minutes.  I was refreshed.  TBG was claustrophobic.  His time in the gym has to include movement, it seems.  From then on, we went our separate ways when classes were involved.  Other than that, though, we were together, sharing the bliss.

We shared dinner that night with Kelly, a nutritionist on staff who was, as part of her training, spending a week as a guest.  This is the right kind of employer.  She'd been on the other side for just that afternoon, and she was already delighted.  Helen, a Canyon Ranch regular, arrived with Ira, Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome, who had been promised within the year by the clairvoyant and who'd appeared, just in time, last New Year's Eve. 

Odd, yes.  But very Canyon Ranch.  That which seems bizarre elsewhere seems natural there. 
I sat alone in a public space, Saturday afternoon by one of the pools,
 not another human in sight,
my umbrella tilted just so,

the palm trees and the blue sky and the birds
my only companions, and I knew I was in paradise.
I had no place to go, nothing to do.
I took out my beautiful blank book and made note of the wonderfulness.

There was healthy food and there were delicious spa treatments and the indoor whirlpool baths had bookstands to hold my novel as I let the jets pummel my aches away.  The showers had perfectly-folded-to-be-available-after-my-shower towels ... two of them... and a clean bath mat on the well-within-my-reach hooks outside each curtain. 

There was steam and sauna and inhalation, which was steam with a healing scent and there were soft terry cloth bathrobes and comfy spa slippers and every toiletry imaginable.  I took more showers last week than I have in the last two months.  I wasn't that dirty; it was just that much fun in the locker room, with four kinds of water (cucumber, plain, lemon and orange) and fresh orange juice readily available and charming attendants willing to get whatever I needed with smiles on their faces and laughter in their voices.

I stayed away from electronics except when it was absolutely necessary, and the release was delightful.  I'll check my email and your comments Monday morning.  For now, as I readjust to the real world, I'm hanging onto my ecation for a few hours more.

Heaven is hard to leave.


  1. If ever there was a person who could promote a resort, it's you. Gosh, it sounds so absolutely lovely and relaxing. I love it when I can turn off my electronic devices and be disconnected. I'm glad you enjoyed your time away and your e-cacation. You deserved the break.

    Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your vacation. Everyone should have vacations like this. :)

    Welcome back.

    Megan xxx

  2. That all sounds wonderful. I could do with some pampering like that!

  3. Well, that sounds beyond delightful. After 4 winters in Tucson, we've never been out there.

  4. You deserve every WoNDeRFuL thing!!! <3

  5. Sorry for spelling e-cation wrong. As you can tell it's not a word I use very often. ;)

  6. Did they really have the tarot and numerology things? For some reason I am so fascinated by that stuff. What a great treat, and how well deserved!

  7. Yes, Meg, I speak only the truth here in The Burrow. Tarot, clairvoyant, numerology, lectures on intuition and creating your own number chart.... it was all there.

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