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I am still trying to put words to my experience in Vermont. Never before in my life have I had the opportunity to surrender to such blissful solitude. My days and nights were mine to fill with whatever my heart called me to do.

I had plans, of course I had plans, for what I thought I would do and should do during this time by myself. My photography books were packed, my memory card was empty awaiting a flourish of images sure to be captured. A fresh unspoiled journal was waiting in anticipation of deep thoughts and profound epiphanies.

None of what I expected to happen actually happened. It was perfect.

There was a luxurious twelve hour train ride north. I played with the yarn I stashed in my bag and listened to The Beatles. For the entire ride. No one sat next to me and I was glad. New York called to me as my train chugged past.

It snowed… and snowed and snowed. The mountains were enveloped by a thick blanket of powdery peace one flake at a time. I crawled under those magical covers and soaked in the silence. The only sounds I did hear those first few days were the crackle of the fire, the quick clack-clacking of doggie nails on hardwood floors, the occasional and startling slide of snow as it shifted and fell from the steep metal roof, and the subtle rush of yarn being pulled from it’s well-wound ball to be worked around my crochet hook.

I painted. I may never be an artist with a capital “A” but the image I created captured the swell and overflow of my heart during this unique moment in my life. Open, soul to the sky, free.

I simply allowed myself to create without censorship or judgement.

I eventually did make a few trips into Montpelier for groceries (the local co-op is such a happy place) and to visit the lovely ladies at the local yarn store. Really, everything in Montpelier is local so why mention it? There was also an indulgent three hour lunch with the Sunday Times, the most delicious local food, and a steaming hot cup of coffee at The Skinny Pancake. I found my tribe in that little steamy restaurant. It’s amazing how easy it is for me to feel like I am among my people up in Vermont. Even when I know no one, I am understood. My heart craves such understanding in my everyday life.

I have been home for a few days now and am still trying to reacclimate to this crazy busy life I live day to day. I’m having a hard time getting my feet back under me. I still feel slightly detached from reality – almost as if I have been to some other time and place.

I feel raw, open… fragile. Overwhelmed. I think it’s a good thing.

I have learned that my body usually processes information long before it becomes clear in my consciousness. I feel something rising to the surface – slowly. In tears and smiles, sighs and revelations I will understand in due time, I’m sure.

My husband said something to me the day I came home that I keep thinking about. He said, “You are a seeker of bliss and a maker of beautiful things.” I identify with those words deeply and lived into that way of being more fully than ever before during my time in Vermont. Now, to integrate my creative-self with my mama-self, there is where the work lies.

For now I am simply trying to be gentle with myself during this transition back into my life, into this role I have created for myself. Or is this role different now, somehow? Shifted? I don’t know. It is going to take time for me to regain my stride and it will also take time for my children to welcome me back into their lives. A week is a long time in their world.

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Here is a look at the yarn creations I hooked while on retreat:

(here is the pattern I used for my new cowl)

(here is the tutorial I used to make my scarf, the hand warmers are a pattern of my own creation)

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