First retreat of 2017

It’s funny that I started doing these last fall–near the end of the year, as the season started waning. It became a pivotal point of change for me. Spring often feels like that, but in more of a re-awakening sense. That was certainly the case this year.

As my life has grown increasingly hectic over the last several years, this disconnect from society has become necessary for me. An escape into the forest of any kind is refreshing when I’m feeling overwhelmed, but a complete 24-hour unplug and hideaway seems to wipe the slate clean altogether. This spring in particular was an important time to unplug because I was about to embark on a crowdfunding journey for Mushroom and Anchovy, and I knew I’d need to take this time to gather the energy to see it through.

I’m not going to say much about this one, as it’s already taken me nearly two months to get to this point. I went on my retreat during May 25th, 2017, and am now at the point that I’m looking toward the late September retreat already! But regardless, I worked on lots of different things, I wrote some new things and planned others. I gathered images that will be used for a project I began to flesh out at the last Retreat.

I stayed in Chignecto North this time–again in an Otentik–in my attempt to squirrel myself away for a brief time. While I preferred Point Wolfe overall, I made some interesting travels and discoveries that wouldn’t have been possible had I not stayed in Chignecto. More on that later!

Inside Outside

I started my daylong journey as all May experiences should: by admiring the new growth and vegetation the world had managed to bring forth during the short window of time that is spring. My favourite discovery was the triad of burgundy trilliums I found on my way through the campground.

Purpleviolets CraggyLadder TrilliumTriad GnomeHome Trillium

I crossed the road and went to Chignecto South, having spent a lot of time travelling through that campground during my youth. I remember a summer with my now-husband, walking through those woods with him while we talked. I camped there with Girl Guides, and, two summers ago, went to a star-gazing event with my father in the picnic area there. I have a picture of myself with the staff of the Corn Crib in that same picnic area when I was pregnant with Amelia. Dad and I spent winters cross-country skiing in the backwoods when I was a child. Being in such close proximity to this campground seemed to call to me, and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I found a lot more than I planned.

Graveyard1

I followed through a few side-paths and entered onto what looked to be a long-forgotten campground. I called it the Campground Graveyard. Too cool.

Graveyard8 Graveyard7 Graveyard6 Graveyard5 Graveyard4 Graveyard3 Graveyard2

Broken-down and destroyed water taps, picnic tables, and overgrown paths. And then… this little guy.

Snakefriend

He was so calm and docile that I thought he was dead. A gentle nudge proved otherwise. I got right up in his face and he didn’t even mind–it seemed he was about to shed his skin.

After over 2 hours of journeying in this area, it was time to go back and have some supper. I built a fire and relaxed for a bit… after writing a few pages worth of notes, of course.

VegDog KingGoblin MmmSmores FireandSmores

The next morning was pretty rainy, as late May tends to be, but I still had gotten a great experience out of it all. It gave me the opportunity to stay in and work on a couple of projects I’d been neglecting… some art projects, most namely.

Raining

I’ve heard from a good friend of mine who’s doing her own Unicorn Cave-style retreat, and I sincerely am looking forward to the early fall, when I’ll embark on my next one. My husband believes these are so beneficial to me that I should be going on one a month–I’m hoping to get to that point, one day! Maybe quarterly will be a good bridge goal.

Have you done any retreats like this, yourself? Are you planning on one? I’d love to hear more!

Hopefully, my fall one will be written in less than a month and a half’s time, so I’ll be able to have it a bit more freshly embedded in my memory. But, the main purpose of this retreat was to kickstart what I like to think of as my “creative magic season”. Late spring into late fall is the prime time for manifesting new ideas for me. I think the little bits I wrote on this retreat may be only the beginning for this year.

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