blue poppy...a drowsy fabulist.

elizabeth maccrellish
elizabeth maccrellish {blue poppy}, canon 50d

"What we see isn't in things, but in our souls."
~ Salvador Dali

Elizabeth is the brainchild behind Squam Art Workshops, she is the creator of all things Squamesque. She had a vision, she followed the dream, she gathered like minded spirits to make it happen and last year was the first try. Now it is a revolution drawing kindred spirits from all around the world. It is a dazzling woodsy art gathering of all things creative and soulful. She took the leap and now because of her bravery, we have all been inspired to spread our wings.

Most Squamettes see her gracefully running around all week, checking in with students and teachers and camp staff to make sure all is well and flowing as it should be. Because she is the director so to speak, she doesn't have the luxury of gazing at stars on the dock or resting on a hill overlooking the lake or breaking bread with those she's been longing to connect with. Of course she is okay with this. She is one of the most selfless souls I know. Stepping back and observing all that is transpiring and seeing the beauty of what lies in front of her is what fills her soul during those five days. I liken it to the conductor of an orchestra. She gently guides, yet encourages each of us to play our instrument and create gorgeous harmonies together.

Elizabeth and I set aside some time together for a photo session away from Squam. She drove me to her breathtaking home in the woods, at the end of a woodsy road, overlooking Squam Lake. "This is me...this is who I am...I am a drowsy fabulist, you know..." she said to me with her arms wide open as to show me the view around her home. It is a side of her that most do not see and I felt honored, so honored to witness her melt into her couch out on her porch and snuggle her puppies and take deep long breaths and close her eyes. No one was calling her name. No one was needing her direction or her positive peace-keeping energy. It was just her and me and the breeze and silence. She let me lay her down in quiet and stroke her forehead so that she would release. She let me twirl her hair with my fingertips and place the curls where they were prettiest. "Yes, this is who you are, Elizabeth...a serene, soft, beautiful, peaceful, soulful, changer of hearts and souls...".

Even writing about it, I have tears. Those few hours were a precious gift to me. I needed some time away from the overwhelming outpouring of love that is Squam. I needed a safe place to digest it all. I needed to be reminded of why I do what I do. Why this is my gift...seeing people and allowing them to feel seen and understood and with it all...feel truly magnificently beautiful in front of my lens.

When we were finished with the session, we sat in her kitchen drinking spicy hot cocoa and sharing what the last few days had made surface in our hearts. We talked about our dreams we are now inspired to manifest. I remember how she was sitting there on the kitchen stool with a glow around her...she was almost whispering to me. It made me realize how very much she gave to all of us at Squam when her natural way of being is in such quiet, such meditation in her home. At times our eyes would well up with tears in those moments we felt safe to tell one another what we loved about each other. There is something about the magic of the woods that lets these thoughts spill. Thoughts you may otherwise keep to yourself. But in these woods, in the walls of her bright windowed home, it seems senseless to not share such things.

On the last morning at breakfast, she came up to the table where I was eating. She kneeled down on the ground and while looking up at me with her crystal blue eyes said; "You opened me up..." and she had tears. Then I had tears and we hugged and that is all that needed to be said.

On the plane ride home, I kept thinking to myself..."I wish others at Squam could see this side of her...the drowsy fabulist that she knows herself to be."

Then, a few days later, I saw this photo when I uploaded it to my computer and I put my hand on my heart and took a deep breath and called my husband over and said..."This is her...this is Elizabeth."