A Girlfriend Camp Visit to Lily Dale.
This past weekend, a group of girls and I went on our annual “girlfriend camp vacation.”
We’ve gone to various places over the past few years including a beach week at Ocean Isle and having various “camp staycations” at each other’s homes.
One of my BFF’s (who I affectionately named Bubby about 20 years ago when Hubby and I met her and her Hubby on an airplane heading to the same cruise) and I created Girlfriend Camp (or GFC as we have coined it) quite a few years ago for just the two of us to get together. We would meet up a couple times a year at one or the other’s house or at a destination in between since we live about two hours apart.
Since then, GFC has expanded to some of her friends and some of my friends at different times. We are now all friends and share a very special GFC bond!
This year, Bubby wanted to visit Lily Dale, NY as part of our vacation. I had never heard of it, but am always up for an adventure and new experiences.
And that it was!
Lily Dale is a small community located in southwestern New York. It has a population of 275, but welcomes approximately 22,000 visitors each year. The purpose of Lily Dale is to further the science, philosophy, and religion of Spiritualism.
It is a place of pilgrimage for many Spiritualists and others interested in Spiritualism, the paranormal, and New Age topics. Many medium and Spiritualist healers reside in Lily Dale.
I can’t say that I’ve been convinced to believe that Mediums can communicate with spirits (even though a Medium provided me with the name and spelling of my recently-passed brother), but what I can say is that it is a lovely and loving place.
No matter who we encountered during our visit to Lily Dale – whether they be other guests or Lily Dale residents, every person was kind and loving. There is a true sense of peace in this little place on earth.
There are small trails through the woods to walk – one of which is a “Fairy Trail…”
where lovely little fairy houses and communities are on display,
and room is made for fairies (and visitors) to dance with nature.
Gathering places have been created….
for people to gather, pray, meditate,
and possibly connect with the spirits of their loved ones.
Healing services are held, and ribbons of healing and prayer are tied on a prayer tree in chains to offer continuous remembrances for loved ones. Guests are offered the opportunity to write a prayer intention or a name on a ribbon. By the end of each summer, hundreds of ribbons are tied to the prayer tree and sing gently in the breeze. At the end of each summer, healers gather in prayer and respectfully take the ribbons from the tree. They are brought to the closing ceremony, where a final blessing is said over the ribbons for healing and for the world.
Here we are in Lily Dale. Full of love. Full of life. Feeling the peace. Open to the experience.
And the next day……. in true GFC fashion – we spent the day visiting winerys and breweries and celebrating life and freedom and peace and friendship.
Cheers to girlfriends! Cheers to friendship! Cheers to kindness! Cheers to acceptance! Cheers to open minds! Cheers to peace! Cheers to love!
Cheers & Hugs,