Sunday night I returned home feeling more peaceful than I had been in months. My aching heart was warmed by the sounds of laughter, cheerful banter and the roar of the sea. I found my tribe. I found a group of women I can be my calm quiet self around and not worry about pretending to be someone else. I could sit quietly on the sidelines and listen if I wished. I could watch with the deep concentration that my face sometimes shows and not be asked to smile because I looked like something was wrong. I felt understood. I felt included and like I belonged just for being me.
Dusk at Manzanita
I arrived on Wednesday feeling unsure of what was to come. Trying not to have expectations but they came anyway. I was worried about the dynamics of the group. Each of us so different yet so much the same. I was sure I would be the black sheep. The one with less talent and less to offer. I know this is a story I created in my own head but it was there nonetheless. I feel like I am in such a transitional time right now, trying to find my voice while continuing on this crooked creative path I am following. What I found was that every single one of these ladies are also on their own crooked paths. Searching for that next small step. Every one of us encased in a beautiful cocoon of transition. Some are starting to crack open and spread their wings while others are waiting just awhile longer until the time is right.
Group Photo by Rebecca Murphy
Meghan, Elizabeth, Melissa, Sarah, Darlene, Sophia, Rebecca and Emily. You have helped to heal me just a little more. Lindsey and Stefanie: we missed you greatly and your presence was felt and with us every step of the way. My heart is already longing for next year. The thought of having this to look forward to every year of our lives is the greatest gift. Come Hell or high water I will be there next year to do it all over again.