Having arrived a couple days early, Jean and I knew the rugged, magnificent country waiting. All those driving up to Lake Alpine for the first time were coming through Sacramento, then weaving along California’s Gold Country towns and the final leg up from Angel’s Camp elevated to evergreen and billowing cumulus. Once the road narrows, the dividing lines disappear, the next opening in the road glistens with Lake Alpine and the awaiting Ponderosa Cabin.
On Sunday, September 15th, the day woke with sunshine, and us, readying for the arrival of participants, woke with a flurry. My cohort in mischief (better know as my tandem teacher) and I had removed the unnecessary cabin furniture (the rocking chair had to go!), situated all our tables to facilitate all of us with our own table, extension-corded good lightning to all work spaces and gotten materials, books, and journals all within arms reach. We were ready.
Around 2pm, creatives began arriving.We got everyone nestled into their chosen rooms and had some time to relax before the “Welcome Dinner”> And what do artists do? Silly of you to ask . . . we’d share each others creative projects as a quick introduction! I loved how this journal page had a three-
dimensional aspect, opening over the image of a family gathering and then, the intriguing way this second journal binds with colored string! Our catered meal arrives just as the sun begins to shy behind the tall pines. And soon there is giggling chatter as we begin to cultivate new friends and stimulating creative ideas over steaming nutrition. I’m lovin’ watching the magic of the retreat as it begins.
Following the “icing on the cake” of berry pie ala mode,
we clear the table (yes, carrying the dishes back to the restaurant was a welcome way to allow my food to settle and fresh oxygen to mix in my brain) and gather for our first mutual creation. I’d had Jean
help me pluck the best potential “talking stick” from five various wood shapes and with a clean, simple madrone segment, we began. As each of us attach an item, important to us and with a personal meaning, a synergy gathers momentum.
With full bellies, smiling connection and the launch into mutual expression and trust among equal peers . . . we wander to our warm beds . . . with anticipation of what’s to come dancin’ in our dreams!