Beth has chosen a theme of change. As always, I find the topic to be both inspiring and confounding. I teeter on the thin wire – arms out for balance – deciding if I will skate across or let myself fall deeply into my truths.
I spend the next morning writing in my room. It is spacious, simply appointed, with a comfy rocking chair and a large window looking over a grassy field. After lunch, I find a quiet bench outside in what feels like my very own hobbit hole. I write until our group meets at 2 pm. I should be more precise. I write, I wander, I doodle, I daydream, I snap photos, I think about decisions that need to be made, I write some more.
Magic happens here. For example, during an evening stroll several of us encounter a security guard. “Are you the writers?” he asks. In unison we proclaim, “Yes!” That was a shining moment. Not a single voice hesitated. We are writers.
We continue our after-dinner walk to the cemetery, a sea of sisters. Their tombstones glimmer in the moonlight. Whether by night or day, St. Mary of the Woods is full of secret gardens and quiet nooks. There are chapels of iridescent shells, faces carved in stately poses, limestone covered in verdant green moss, and that cemetery of whispering stories. I find muses hiding in the boughs of trees, the robes of bronze saints, and the voices of quiet stones. I do some of my best writing here.
With no irony, St. Mary of the Woods has become sacred to me. I love it for the gorgeous grounds, the progressiveness of the nuns, the writing circle, Beth’s leadership, and the beautiful women who glow as they proclaim “We are writers!”