Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Retreat to Move Forward

The Hilltop at Night

I walk through clover up the gentle slope amid twinkling, earthbound stars
The Summer breeze lifts the musky aroma of a well-watered Spring from beneath my feet as I walk
Courting crickets innumerable call to one another above the whispered secrets of the tall, bending grass
Silent explosions of clashing heat and cold silhouette distant treetops, mimicking the lesser flashes of light and life below
 I reach the summit and turn to look back on my ascent
My contented soul overflows, spilling down my cheeks to mingle with the tender drops of fresh rain.

  I penned this while spending five work and play filled days on the inspirational grounds of the Helderberg Writer's Retreat in Voorheesville, NY.
  I was very excited and more than a little nervous when Nanette Blake of  Vagabondage Press first invited me to attend the annual event. Although I've always loved to write, I've only just recently begun to share my work and am still quite sensitive about it. The thought of a group of writers analyzing my writing was intimidating, to say the least.
  I swallowed my self-doubts and began to prepare for my new adventure.
   Upon arrival , I found my excitement was merited, my nerves were not. I couldn't have asked for a  more supportive, fun-loving group of women to indoctrinate me.
   We started the extended weekend with cocktails, laughter and lobsters; A sure-fire way to start any undertaking right. The following days were filled with: writing critiques, "book reports", writing games, walks in the woods, drinks under the stars, and some much appreciated solitary work time.
   Sitting alone on the edge of the woods in my little chair with my dog curled up under my feet and my pen scratching away in my old notebook was one of the most personal, inspirational times I've ever experienced.

 The work time was peaceful and fulfilling and the playtime was bawdy and laughter filled, but of all the work and fun, the thing which struck me the most was how nice it was to have my brain all to myself.
Those moments are rare in all our lives.