Phew! Narrowing down the hundreds of photos that I took, even FINDING my camera amidst all the piles of bags I brought home, well that was a feat. But here I am. And struggling with what to write after such a week as I've had. I know that it feels strange, and maybe not always wonderful, to read about an intimate gathering at which you were not in attendance, and it can feel just as disruptive to that intimacy to write about it, I think. Plus there's that whole "what happens in the woods, stays in the woods" ethos that I'm certainly a fan of. But despite all of that, what I need to tell you is that each one of those women who walked into the woods last Thursday was creative, inspiring, and amazing in their very own ways, and I am so grateful to now know each of them. We crafted up a storm. We got a winter storm that blanketed everything in just the right amount of white to make for pretty photo walks and snowshoe treks, but not so as to interfere with anyone's travel. There were tears and laughter. A perfect balance of green smoothies and red wine were enjoyed. Delicious food consumed. Beautiful yoga attended. And in addition to making a few more knitters for the world, I'm fairly certain we made some beautiful friendships too. It was absolutely gorgeous, all around.
I think for me, some of the greatest moments came in watching each project be completed. Much of the fabric came from my own stash, and I had been worried beforehand that it would be too limiting - that each piece would end up looking the same. But despite working with the same materials, each time a new quilt square was finished, I could help but say or think, "Oh my gosh, that's SO YOU!" because it really was. And then I'd look closer and see parts and pieces I remembered from my own making - a skirt for this child, a quilt for that one, a dress for me - and rejoiced in the pleasure of seeing that past effort joined up with someone's fresh creativity. And quickly, it felt symbolic of the larger moment that was happening for us all during our gathering as we came together - strangers from all corners of the country - joined in creativity and adventure for a few days, and returned home taking just a little bit of each other back with us. Parenting wisdom shared, business advice offered, healthy life paths encouraged, and creativity sparked. Hearts full, I do hope (and believe).
I'm coming home now, ready for a nap most definitely, eager to snuggle with my babes, for sure. But also inspired by the goal of bringing women together in whatever form that continues to take in the future. We need each other. Whether by connection online in a daily space such as this, or in our everyday communities, or in temporary gatherings like the one we had this weekend. We are such caretakers, and so desperately need to be taken care of sometimes too. Plus, the feeling of a room full of people breaking out into a chorus of "awe!" and "yay!" and "it's beautiful!" each time we finishing something and share it? Well my goodness, we all need that kind of encouragement in our lives. And what a blessing it is to witness!
I can't thank those women enough - for so bravely and boldly walking into the woods as they did, with a group of strangers.