I just spent a week at Wildacres Retreat Center. You might remember that I was also there back in April of this year. This time I had seven unscheduled days to work on my writing. I took two notebooks of stories--over thirty of them--that needed revision.
I didn't expect this, but it was peak leaf week in that part of the mountains. From every side of the property there was the most magnificent view.
The auditorium overlooks Table Rock.
I spent my days working in my room or in the library.
When I'd take a break, there were so many places to walk around. Ladybugs were everywhere, crawling on rails and decks and swarming trees.
At night there were readings by some of the writers. I finally got up my nerve and read two stories on Friday night. The first was a piece of flash entitled Just Before Christmas, and the second a fairy tale about a weary doctor who meets Death on the way home one night. It was perfect for All Saints Day!
As my sister-in-law and I headed down the mountain on Saturday, the serenity and fall colors we'd experienced at the center began to fade. Traffic picked up and soon we were speeding home to normalcy.
We stopped at Stamey's Barbecue in Greensboro for lunch. I got a little teary thinking about my dad and the loss of his home as a place to stop on my way home from the mountains. Outside the restaurant though was this beautiful reminder of the fall beauty we had just been immersed in:
Finally home, I kept catching a glimpse of brightness out my den window and opened the front door to discover this brilliant tree in my own front yard.
I started unpacking and washing clothes. Everything went right back into my suitcase so I will be ready when we get the call telling us that our daughter is in labor.
For the time of renewal at Wildacres, the new friends I made there and special time with my sister-in-law, a pile of revised stories, and the anticipation of the baby and the holidays, I feel very full right now.