Tag Archives: welcome

Strawberry Creek Lodge – Writing Retreat – Spring 2016

Blog 1 – The Retreat

Anticipation.

It’s been building since the day we left last year, brought on and encouraged by the positive results and the lasting effects of concentrating for days with one’s own muse. More time! So in answer to that request, we extended the trip one more night on the long weekend, which gave us one more full day of retreating to write. It’s funny that we need to retreat in order to bond or reconnect with our inner creativity. It’s the way life is, though – fast paced and loud, demanding and insistent. Surely a retreat is not always necessary – it’s a mini vacation for the mind and soul. If one truly takes the time to focus on “self”, while appreciating others’ need to do the same, the results are amazing and the argument for retreating is unarguably natural medicine for the ailing spirit.

Commitment.

Planning and soliciting attendance isn’t necessarily difficult or anxiety building until you get closer to the day and unanticipated events happen to cause holes to appear in your apparent flawless and effortless planning. Life happens – things come up that you cannot possibly foresee over the course of a year. The need to have minimum numbers causes the added pressure to ensure all the seats are filled. We are all thankful that a distress call put out there attracted the attention of like-minded individuals who could make the weekend getaway. Financial strains this year had me even questioning my spending; however, the benefit to my mental well-being far outweighed any other argument. It just means more work upon returning home.

Benefits.  

Nature. Focus. Amazing surroundings. Like-minded souls sharing your love for words. Ability to socialize, materialize, compromise – or just disappear into your own world, as needed. As a writer, the solitude is a blessing and it is made even more inspiring by the beautiful setting and lodge.

No – you don’t have to go away to write, but a retreat is an experience every writer should try during their writing journey. Most will go back for more – year after year. Others will savor the experience and move on, knowing they can always go again when warranted. For me, it is a place I could imagine retiring to in order to write to my heart’s content for the rest of my life… the whole working for a living thing-money and paying bills- thing that stops me for now. Every trip produces more work and creates memories shared with writing colleagues. Fellowships are forged – friendships are solidified. The wonderful thing about Strawberry Creek Lodge is the myriad of delightful nooks and crannies where one can hole up for a time or stake out for the duration; the rooms are wonderful sleeping and private working quarters to spread out your tools and prepare to produce; the meals… the meals are marvelous. Imagine being called to the table by the cowbell at set times to enjoy amazing meals with your retreat pals. No cooking. No dishes. No cleaning.

Pitfalls.

None. Unless, of course, you count the fact that you won’t want to go home and you might attempt to kidnap Brenda, our awesome host/cook, because you never want to have to cook again… ever…

As a dedicated writer, invested in your passion – you will utilize every moment possible to focus on your words; be kind to yourself with rest and relaxation; socialize at appropriate times; connect with your inner creativity and nature. For those who couldn’t go – there is sadness in what life brings – but there is always next year.

A Writing Retreat. It is not something that is necessary – but it is something life-altering to those with a serious passion for word creativity. The retreat is a great way to immerse yourself in the beauty of solitude away from every day distractions to focus specifically on writing. It’s a recharge for the creative battery.

See you next year – keep on writing!

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The Horse Goddess

The coming of spring…

As the March night slipped into a sleepy silence, a stillness was borne unto an awakening land – a land still groggy yet reaching for warmth from the depths of slumber, stretching and rising like a Phoenix coaxed from the ashes of a winter’s hearth gone cold. A hushed wind whispered warnings through the timberland, whipping up a murmur that stirred amongst the trees; it slid and caught on encrusted snow, tempting the crows to mock again as they did the night before in the full moon’s wash when they watched from their perches high above. But they kept still and all else settled, as a fear took hold and silence fell, so as not to tempt the fates of the Morrighan.

As the hour grew late, nature’s children released a collective breath which held thick upon the cool night air. A final frosty coating tipped the branches. Timbered souls huddled together, readied and bare, wanting for spring’s sweet caress. The night shivered in anticipation of her arrival then shuddered to calmness as if already a lover fulfilled. The forest silence pleaded for a peaceful night.

“No noise, my love, sleep as the hour draws near and, by and by, you shall awake to a new day.”

Until that time, downy cover lay gentle over a fragile land and gave security with false hope. But no sound sleep would befall the earth tonight – virgins entwined amongst their unsuspecting beds would be dragged, kicking and screaming into the night, bedclothes melting away as the grasp of Eros claimed their desires. The death of winter was sure.

From the snowy ashes she arose, her lithe body distorted and writhing as she gasped and gulped, in frantic desperation, to regain life’s green pulse. An unearthly scream rent the midnight hour and all cringed and thought the curses were to be upon them. Instead, the noise began to sooth like warm breath on an icy pain. Steam rose as tempered air touched flesh and pallid hide, and she pulled wildly on the tangled mane of her mount – straining, pulling – demanding the ground unearth them to grant vernal freedom once more. Entwined as one, horse and master regained completed form – Epona had arrived and all cheered.

No guilty pleasure to be left unturned, she traced a pattern freely over land, threading through the naked forest, with soft sureness, enticing new buds to pop with just a look. Her touch was fiery, though, and placed just so, brought crimson blush to barren soil, deflowered and flowered, all with one stroke. Pounding hooves awoke the hibernating beasts who stirred with frustrated realizations. Creek waters welcomed her intrusion to their beds and they pooled their heated fluids. Wild and turbulent in her wake, they thawed away their inhibiting icy shackles.

Spring lay anew upon the earth, splayed and spent, yet rejuvenated; Epona, her body drenched in sweat, smiled with satisfaction at her newest conquest. She smoothed her flaxen hair and thread throughout its strands new sprung daisies. She caressed the neck of her dutiful destrier, glistening with early morning dew. As quick and quiet as she came to the night, her job done, she faded into the dawn, just as the sun peeked over the horizon.

      (c) Linda J. Pedley 2011 – text and illustration

If you are interested in ordering web based specific writing and/or illustrations, please contact me through my company    web site: http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca

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