That is my take away message from this year's retreat. This, our TENTH !
And WOW, have there been a lot of changes over the years !
From locations - MD, to NC, to PA. To number of attendees, types of projects, and 'format'. But, the more things change - the more some of it stays the same. . . .
Our "tagline" is Share, Learn, Grow.
THOSE things have not only remained the same, but have deepened over the years.
The sharing has grown exponentially - from jewelry techniques to business to cooking to issues of relationships, family, and life.
We learn more, in many ways, each year - about our craft, about each other, and also about ourselves.
There is no "I" in retreat! Retreat is a group endeavor. We all bring tools and materials, we all bring knowledge and creativity.........we bring our different perspectives; we bring a little piece of ourselves -- and we toss it all in there. And we GROW as artists and, I think, as people.
In thinking about retreat and what it's meant to me over the years and the people that it has exposed me to, I tried to make RETREAT an acronym of sorts, this is just one of a few I thought of:
People come and go over the years, fade in and out as life gets busy with family, business, teaching, etc. Situations, interests and people, change, (what is that saying? "the only constant in life is change" So true!) but the heart of the network retreat - Share, Learn, Grow - remains the same.
This year's retreat was our second smallest on the books.
There were 7 of us who explored (risked?) together a new retreat location in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. It's a little scary changing locations but I have to say, for me, this was one of THE best decisions. Don't get me wrong - I loved the house in NC....even the crazy ride there....the anticipation would build the entire time and the old location became an old friend that I looked forward to seeing, despite it's flaws. and it DID have it's flaws for a group of our size getting together for our purpose.
The new location is not without challenges as well - but overall - I'm sold ! The house is brighter and cleaner.....and for me, the surroundings were much more uplifting. Again - brighter, cleaner.
We lucked out and had GREAT weather. It wasn't too cold, or too hot; not too wet, certainly not too dry...LOL
You can see the house below. Stills on a little rise, in a clearing. Wrap around porch on three sides, deck on the back, 3 outside table/chair areas and a bunch of rocking chairs.
The house doesn't (didn't) have wi-fi so we often found ourselves outside, on the porch, trying to get a connection on our phones.
With our tables set up in a square with a community table in the middle full of pickle pots and other tools, we spent the week creating.
Below is my little slice of that square. :)
And I think this is Eva's space.
Rina found herself working on a piece of wall art for a good portion of the week. This very symbolic piece will be set into a frame for installation on a wall.
We had SUCH a great time!!!!
Planning for Retreat 2015 is well underway.
If you'd like more information, please go here.