All weekend it’s been <em>work, work, work</em> to get the rest of the details prepared for the retreat. My boundless excitement has been mollified somewhat by my (tragic!) sniffles and an increasingly nagging throaty cough. Nooooooo! (She says to her immune system). Yet it didn’t keep me from snipping, painting, threading, scuffling, and sock-dancing while listening to music really, really loud. It feels like a miracle that this whole shebang is happening at all. It wasn’t all that long ago that I sent out the initial email asking if folks were interested in shelling out airfare to some tiny southeast hamlet for god-knows-what. But here’s the thing: I don’t believe in miracles. I believe in people vocalizing what they want or what they are dreaming of. Then there’s hope that their ‘advertisement’ finds a listener or a partner that is willing to share in the desire. So it begins. The rest is just Newton’s first law of motion. Besides the beach, the wine, the kitties, and the company, I am especially looking forward to reconnecting with a woman who I haven’t seen in over a decade. Our time living abroad together was very formative for me and molded many aspects of my personality. I’m having a hard time articulating the type of growing up you do when you are just finishing college and you’ve left your lifestyle completely behind. There were joyous things and scarring things during that time– events that created new neuroses and also realizations that now serve to comfort and protect me against the crap parts of the world. She was there to witness all those things and shared many of them with me. Mostly the gratitude in me is mounting – for the luxury of time, for the generosity of our hosts and participants, and for the opportunity to reconnect with my earlier self.