Monday, November 16, 2009

Leaving the Hilltop

By Pamela

Day one at home.

One of the most dangerous stages of an astronaut's mission is re-entry, that critical moment when returning to the earth's atmosphere. Come in at the wrong angle or at the wrong speed and the outcome is disastrous.

When you spend three straight days in the company of friends with shared goals and interests, it's a little like being on Mars. Your time is your own and the people around you respect that. You feel weightless as burdens and responsibilities fall off your shoulders and onto someone else's.

So as we packed up yesterday afternoon for the journey home, the reality of leaving Planet Writing Women and returning to Earth hit us full-force. I had the privilege of driving most of us home, so I got to see the reaction of families as mom returned. From strangle-holds around the neck to shouts of "You're home!" and lingering hugs, clearly we were missed.

I asked my friends what were the best parts about our inaugural retreat and the following is a conglomeration of our responses. Not surprisingly, many overlapped.

  • We could always find someone willing to play Scrabble at 1 a.m. (and then learn that "Crile means George Washington")

  • Joan's dark chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds.

  • No one called from the bathroom needing to be wiped. (If they did, I ignored them.)

  • Gut-splitting laughter.

  • Wine. Wine. Wine.

  • Gorgeous sunsets we would have missed at home.

  • Walks.

  • Getting immediate feedback and various viewpoints on writing.

  • Quiet time when we needed it.

  • Naps when we wanted one.

  • No one asking us to stop writing and help them find something to eat/wear/do.

  • Eating whatever we felt like, whenever we felt like it.

  • Hope and promise and encouragement on our WIPs.

  • Having your family appreciate your coming home.

    Mission accomplished!

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