Imagine with me for a moment. It’s early in the morning on the shores of Puget Sound. You’ve bundled up for the cool October morning, cup of hot coffee or tea or what ever wakes you up in the morning, in hand you huddle with others like wise clutching their morning steam power. There is a fog bank rolling over the top of Whidbey Island coming across the water towards the shores of Cama Beach. The water is still, and dark like glass.
It’s quiet, other than the murmurs and shivers of the early risers, until a lone loon wails it’s plaintive song. It’s cry echos against the hill-side, leaving everyone quietly in awe of the new day.
Through the fog bank, the light of the sun coming up from behind the hillside creates a miasma of pink and purple sunrise.
Shuffling off to class, bags and hooks in hand, focused on learning the new skill, or hoping to just pick up a trick or two, you find yourself draw to looking at the water. And suddenly it doesn’t matter if you are “getting it right”, you realise that you are sitting in a room with others, like yourself who love the textures of the fiber they are working with. You stop your reverie and look about the room, instead of picking up your hook you decide to watch the others. Their hands are dancing, in silent rhythms, magic is being made with a single hook and a strand of 4ply yarn.
After class you gather with a new friend to sit at a table outside and have lunch. Sure it’s misting, but the fresh marine air is crisp and clean. Worries melt away, and the early morning cry of the Loon is replaced by the chattering of Bald Eagles. It’s primal, it’s touches your soul.
After lunch you gather together with your friends to enjoy a talk or a workshop, and once again the hooks come out, and the inspiration flows. You’ve figured out a new skill, or a half step that just makes it so much easier. Then you hear the shout of someone from outside, “Whale! Whale!” Hooks get dropped and people rush to the shore, and the local Orcas are playing not more than 100 feet off the cobble beach, the Bald Eagles sing out, Kingfishers dive for fish, and some where you hear a gull laugh at the folly.
Beyond the crochet, beyond the new technique, beyond the learning about yarn and hooks, and fiber and color, you have had a time, that takes you back…no television noises, no non-stop chattering, no rush hour, no bumper to bumper shopping carts. The joy and awe on everyone’s faces illuminates the afternoon, and then again the crochet hooks and yarn begin to stitch their magical threads.
As the sun begins to set behind the Olympic Mountains, the orange ball radiates out shafts of light that begin to paint the clouded sky in an artists’ palette of purples, reds, tangerine and it is outlined in gray and white. Everyone stops to look, to take a photo. The Eagle cries one last time as it heads to its nest, and the Raven child says “kerplunk”, you hear a distant Great Horned Owl hoot in the distance, and then the Loon once again sounds its plaintive cry…
Time for dinner, everyone decides to make it a potluck. The gathering of kindred souls has created a bubble that no one wants to break. Sitting in the old building, warm and cozy, good home cooked food to share with friends. Laughter, and more hooks and yarn it’s almost surreal in how good the experience is…
Now for the evening program. Not just a speaker full of hot air, but an interactive event, no one cares if you’re crocheting while they talk. No one admonishes you, you’re on a roll, everyone gets that. The instruments come out and songs are song both silly and sad, fun and heartwarming. The sounds of a dulcimer echo off the hills, and you are transported to a time further back still, when humans enjoyed simpler pleasures.
At last it’s time for bed so another day can begin a fresh. You wash, and change and scramble into your warm blanket, and as you rest your head on your pillow the visions of the day pass through your mind’s eye. You’ve never felt so relaxed, you’ve never been so inspired, you never expected life to be this good.
Yeah, I’m pitching the retreat…but I thought instead of telling you how reasonably priced it is, and how much work we’re putting into it, that I would share my end goal with you. The above story is exactly my vision for people coming to the retreat. I have a little piece of Heaven here on Camano Island; I want to share it with you.
(note: 6/22/11. In revisiting this post I find it creepy in a really cool kind of way, that the above poetic description is exactly what happened at Cama Beach last October. I invite you to share that experience with us this year, Registration is open! You don’t want to miss out on this!)