Thursday, June 25, 2015

Connections, Celebrations & Bears

Written Wednesday at the Highlights Foundation...

I slept through yoga. It was a wonderful, restful, and relaxing sleep. Breakfast was powerful. The food is yummy...always yummy (I eat so quickly that I always seem to forget to take a picture!) This morning the group at the breakfast table got into such a powerful discussion about...life, race, gender, relationships, writing...you name it we discussed it. It reminded me of the conversations I used to have in college that lasted for hours. We had to cut it short, but it stayed with me. 

We walked back to the lodge...the four of us. Making plans to keep in touch as Dana was leaving today. I'm so grateful we stopped and took this picture of the four of us...
Dana, Lori, Stacey, Michelle

Now, down to the writing today. Something about writing is tiring. At the end of the day, it feels like a day well spent. There was lots of writing today. We took a walk after lunch and that helped my afternoon productivity. 
What is it about pictures of paths? I LOVE them!

I'm working on a much more personal piece of writing, so today seemed hard, but in a different way...emotionally hard. 

I strolled up to the barn early for appetizers and dinner, so I could spend some time outside quietly writing and processing in my notebook. 

Appetizers. More time visiting with new friends. Today I spent some time with two lovely authors Suzanne Bloom and Debra Winegarten. They checked in with me at many times during the day to see how things were progressing. They were so kind and helpful.
Me, Suzanne, Debbie

Then...it happened. We were sitting outside on the patio enjoying some refreshments and someone jumped out of her seat and exclaimed, "Did you see that? A bear!" Really. A bear. He ran through the poetry garden up the hill. Some of the writers ran after the bear. Yes, you read that correctly. They RAN...TOWARDS the bear. I didn't. Everyone was smart about how close they got (not very)! Debbie got an amazing picture of the bear with her zoom lens and her camera. Whew! Such excitement!!

At dinner we celebrated Stacey submitting her book! She worked hard for the past few days and submitted it early. We spent much of the evening celebrating Stacey's accomplishment...
and making plans to avoid the bear. We decided that it's important to be together, safety in numbers and all, so we walked back to the lodge talking about the day and the bear and our writing when suddenly Lori grabbed my arm and yelled, "There's the bear!" She pointed to a few trees by the dumpster. All I saw was Molly the dog, so that's what I said, "No that's just the dog." As I spoke, I saw the bear too!! He started climbing the tree...to get away from Molly the dog. 
Bear is IN the tree and Molly is at the bottom barking away!

We had a S'mores Celebration Party planned for Stacey in an hour, so we got some things done and regrouped to walk back down together. I will tell you this, seeing a bear really bonds a group together. We laughed and walked (and ran a little) down to the barn. After visiting with Amanda for a bit, we started the 'Smores Celebration! (I must remember that tradition for when I finish my book!)  
Stacey roasting marshmallows with Lori & Amanda looking on! 
Lori roasting her marshmallow!!

As the party ended, we had Molly the dog escort us back to the lodge. Who knew that the amazing Highlights Unworkshop would offer so many new life experiences?!?!
Molly the dog! Our hero!!

I wonder what adventures Thursday will bring?!?!

1 comment:

  1. I have a few takeaways from your post:
    1) I should never go out in public without makeup. Ever.
    2) Nothing bonds a group of people together like multiple bear sightings.
    3) It feels wonderful to celebrate with kindred spirits when you've accomplished something. I can't think of anywhere else I would've rather finished this book than here at Highlights since everyone truly understood the labor (of love) that it was. Thanks for taking time away from your own writing to celebrate with me. I appreciate it.
    4) Molly the Dog is my heroine!

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