Last night we saw the Milky Way. It has been more than ten years since I was anywhere dark enough (with a night clear enough) to see. We wondered aloud how could anyone live somewhere where the Milky Way is visible and not stare up in awe each and every night. One of the RRFS noted that people get desensitized to it over time like we do everything else. She then added, “and it’s a damn shame.”
We not only get desensitized to the bad going on in our lives and neighborhoods (thank you, evening news), but we’re losing our touch with joy as well. Not just the joys of people loving and helping one another despite the hellhole our country is trying to become. But the simple blessings of the natural world around us. At times out of reach, like the swath of stars over our heads, but so very worthy of our joy, appreciation, and wonder. Any sense of religion or particular gods aside, how a person can be anything but wowed by this earth amazes me. You don’t have to love being in the great outdoors to recognize the absolutely amazing natural world we inhabit.
I am so very glad to have my friends with me on this trip. They make me laugh and encourage me. It is nice to share a space away from the standard demands of daily life with people who are wonderful creative minds, perhaps especially when our brands of creativity are so different from one another. But when it comes to me putting pen to page I do my best alone and in silence. I’m not sure that’s a part of me I can change.
At the moment I am sitting on the couch in our cabin, looking out the large picture window to the big pond just out the front door, and watching my friends gathered at the picnic table reading, researching, and writing. I’ll join them soon, but for now I am spending time with my thoughts in the grand stillness of our retreat.