I’m here again at Faith’s Lodge for the 3rd annual Motherhood & Words Retreat, and I already know it’s going to be another amazing weekend. Last night, as we waited for everyone to arrive, we sat in the Great Room with plates of cheese and glasses of wine, unwinding, letting the comfort and beauty and intention of being here in this healing place seep into our consciousness. As one participant reminded us, the Lodge was created for intentional grieving. Most women on this retreat are not grieving the loss of a child, but there is something in the intentionality of this place that helps these writers refocus on the stories they need to write. I can’t wait for our morning discussion and hear the words they’ve already written.
There is one heartbreak here at the Lodge this year: the felled trees. Some of you may remember that I posted about the loss of trees last summer, when straight line winds tore through the area, destroying 62 of Faith Lodge’s 80 acres of tree-covered land.
Intellectually I know that 62 acres of trees = a whole lot of trees. But I was not prepared for what it would feel like to drive into the Lodge’s property and see the devastation. It looks like a bomb was detonated. Tears filled my eyes at the sight. And because of the damage to other property in the area, there was too much work for the logging companies, and they have only been able to clear a small strip near the Lodge, which miraculously sustained very little damage.
I was up early this morning, turning on the fireplace up in the Eagle’s Nest, where we have our morning meetings, and laying out breakfast things for the group. And as I stared out of the devastated land, I was grateful to see a light snow begin to fall, as if the elements sensed our desire to cover the barren land.
Now, I sit for a few minutes of quiet in front of the fireplace in my room, a cup of strong decaf perched beside me, and I’m filled with gratitude for this incredible place that will re-grow and adjust, for the lives that have begun to heal here, for the incredible women who have joined me this year. It feels as though it will be a weekend of renewal for me, and I’m ready.