incredibly full

i want to share my experience of squam.  but i honestly don’t know where to begin…there is so much swirling in my head and in my heart.
i could give you a play-by-play of how i dropped off the kiddos at their grandparents’ house and then reveled in an 8 hour car ride all.by.myself with only the thoughts in my head and the music in my ears.  i could tell you how nervous i was pulling up to longhouse where registration took place…but one of the first people i saw was elizabeth and, upon introducing myself, she gave me a big, big hug.  i could tell you about meeting my fantastic cabin mates and how fantastic they were.  how i woke up early each morning and walked along the lake, camera in hand…soaking in the beauty and the peace.

i could go on to share how perfectly lovely and flowing my photography workshop was with thea coughlin.  and then go on to share that my mixed media workshop with my painting fairy alena hennessy was a day of gentle wonder and open expanse.   and how there was a night of maya stein and her type rider story, followed by a moving musical performance by jonatha brooke.  then i must tell of the writing class experienced with maya stein and yoga with michelle madden smith.  om.  eek!  i mean really…all of this goodness in a matter of days?!

these beauties were created by melinda, one of my lovely cabin mates

not to mention the twinkle lights in gathering places…scarves hugging and pom poms dangling from trees lining the wooded paths we walked…and magical, loving gifts placed along these same paths.  squam fairies do this…leave little presents on the paths for all to find…tiny sachets of scented goodness, wish tickets, star cards {thank you pixie campbell and soulodge fairies, mindy tsonas, swirly}.  and the wish tree…oh the wish tree.  and i had the opportunity to hug so many people i have “met” online and through instagram…i had the chance to look them in their eyes and hear their voices.  i was blessed with gifts of connection.  amazing.

there is so much that happens in the days of squam.  and what i’ve shared here is just a slice of it all.  i journeyed to squam with an open heart, trying hard not to hold expectations.  this is not easy if you’ve spent any time reading people’s experiences of squam.  because the experiences described are incredible.  but i went in as i was…where i was.

and there were hugs and tears.  there were questions and revelations.  there was food and conversation.  there was water and wood.  there was…
at the art fair on saturday night, i was asked how i was feeling about the whole experience, asked if there were any highs.  and my response was that the days had felt very even.  there were no highs for me.  and to my sense, this was good.  the days were steady and smooth and incredibly full.  i connected with so many {so many} other creative and loving souls.  and, i do believe, i connected with myself.

there was…
warmth and openness
vulnerability and exposure
embrace and acceptance

i will honestly tell you that i am still processing my experience, and i am unsure if i’ve been able to capture that which stirs in my heart.  but i wanted to come here to this space and share some words, share some images.
and i will tell you this: squam is not infallible, but it is magical.  it is not for everyone, but it was most definitely for me.

sending a little love your way, m

photo courtesy of thea coughlin

p.s. some of you sent me emails specific to squam before i headed out.  if you have any thoughts or questions about squam, please send me an email {or, of course, leave a comment}.  i’d be happy to share more with you.

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15 thoughts on “incredibly full

  1. Goodness… I’m crying on the train right now… Trying to be discrete and not freak out my seatmate.
    First, best.post.ever… It’s magical, just enough to let me know that you were moved during this experience.
    I’m so blessed that I get to have my own experience in a few short weeks. I do have one regret, I won’t get to give you a big squeeze. One day… xxO

  2. Delighted to hear you had a great time. It sounds like your experience will contine to ‘feed’ you in the weeks to come – good on you! Great description, loving your words. Thanks for sharing the link to others too. xx

  3. It was so great to hug you in real time..we have connected on instragram for so long I felt like I knew you already..you were exactly as I imagined, warm and welcoming…xoxo gentle re-entry to you …Karen (bella says hi too)

  4. This is all so beautiful! I could linger in your photographs for days! And I laugh because while I found the star cards, the wish bundles, scarves and pom poms and earth art I MISSED the wish tree! How incredible is that? So much to take in (ah, but we had our own prayer tie wishes, so check, that is covered!)

    I am happy to have connected with you IN THE FLESH! And am looking forward to witnessing the unfolding of your journey.

    xo Lis

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