the woodsy magic

squam kiss
kiss sent to my family via my phone on second day of squam

Many people coming back from Squam (both Summer & Fall sessions) speak of a magic that dazzles the woods. For those that have not been there yet, I can imagine they wonder what that really means. Last year at Squam, my heart and soul were consumed with wondering if I would get a phone call that our birth mother was in labor (she was predicted to have a preemie but ended up not). It was difficult for me to stay present. I felt the magic, the heart swooning, the connections, the beauty...but I am not quite sure if I listened to all that surrounded me intently enough. I am not sure I felt it as deeply as it danced around me.

This year was different. I walked on the gravelly dirt paths surrounded by trees, leaves and bark with a more peaceful, quiet spirit. I found myself just be-ing moment to moment. I heard the wind harmony of song through the leaves. I allowed for complete quiet at night, tucked in bed without needing to fill it with noise. I observed connections happening around me without feeling the need to be part of it. It was just beautiful to observe. If I did happen to be part of a deep soul friendship connection, I marinated in it without allowing the huge crowds to distract me. This way of being is home to me and it feels like years since I have come to this space of comfort within.

I remember my dear friend Jen coming up to me after a few days in the woods..."you seem so good...just coasting, just okay with everything." I knew what she meant. She observed me walking softly after years of observing me wanting to walk softly but being unable to. Others that have been part of my journey noticed too and rather than pull me aside and ask me a plethora of questions as to how or why I am in this space...they just let me be.

There were women from last year that from afar I knew were kindred spirits. Last year I was afraid to nurture those connections because they were mothers. It was hard to sit in the spaces of mothers sharing stories about their children. I protected my heart so much from anything that would surface icky hurty stuff when I yearned to not go there because I knew the well of sorrow would not stop pouring. Last year I wasn't in a space to let that well flow.

Again...this year was different. I sat snuggled onto beds or couches listening to mothers talk of their children with tears welling because they missed them. I listened to birth stories without feeling like I have missed out on something sacred. I shared my own birth story...how I cradled our birth mother while she bravely brought our son into the world. Our stories were all unique and I was now part of a tribe of women that supported one another gently. Ever so gently.

I sat with women I admire. Women that have discovered their true passion and dreams and have created a life for themselves that is so utterly extraordinary and inspiring. I listened, absorbed the stories of how they gathered all of their bravery to do so and the tools that helped them get there. And when it began to feel overwhelming because I tend to move slower with such things, I left the room and sat on my bed and closed my eyes and centered myself, feeling okay that I do things differently.

It was just five days of feeling safe in my skin and safe with others. Five days of walking down path after path and smelling the scents of nature and listening to the music it plays. Five days of giggling with my girls as they danced on the beds at night and let go of their inhibitions. Five days of stepping out and saying hello to those women I always wanted to say hello to (and snuggle with in front of a fire). Five days of somehow, somehow...not allowing my ego to take control but rather letting my ego go completely. Five days of feeling like a woodsy hobbit faerie nymph in my dreadlocks. Five days of loving without fear. Five days of feeling so fully inspired by over one hundred unique, beautiful, soulful, thriving, cracked open artists of all types, from all around the world.

More feelings to share soon.
More images too.