Her place is tucked among the high hills in Sonoma County between Healdsburg and Calistoga. A beautiful cradle-like environment, with many small building in various stages of renovation, surrounded us. My sister-in-law and I held each other's hands to feel safe as we walked on the uneven pathways. Cassie said the buildings were barracks in the 1940's, and then a school owned the place and leased it to Cassie and her husband for their Leap Now Gap Year program. The school sold it to them when the school disbanded. We saw a large kitchen and studio, a dorm that slept 8 and another studio. We met some of Cassie students, who were young and open and delightful.
The tour and Cassie gave us a feel for the laid back energy of the place. Cassie was immediately recognizable to me as someone who knew the same language I knew from my years of training, even though we studied with different people and in different parts of the country. When this happens for me I feel I am part of a tribe. It was late in life for me before I found a group that felt like home. When I hugged Cassie good bye, my sister-in-law said that my face was just beaming. It is always such a treat to find another retreat center lead by someone with what I consider authentic compassion and discernment. My dream is still to travel and meet everyone in our community. When I meet someone like Cassie, my dream comes true.
For a full description of her program go here: