Last week I participated in a Writing Retreat for physicians, in Banff, Alberta.  I was inspired and learned an incredible amount about the creative writing community in medicine, as well as about fiction, poetry, non fiction, publishing and more.

Here are my before and afters.  There is a lot in the middle, but that can come later.

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On the way

I am somewhere in the sky over Hudson Bay (as per the flight map), on my way to Banff for a writing conference.  I’ve been looking forward to this for months, and can’t believe the day has finally come.

Flying alone, without my husband or kids, is a strange but somewhat welcome feeling.  It’s a freedom I don’t often get; I am carrying only my own bags, my own passport, my own snacks.  I am not lugging and schlepping, not constantly looking behind me or ahead of me, not calling out for someone to wait or hurry.

It’s quiet, and calm.  That’s a good thing, but I do miss the little hands and upturned faces.  However, as much as my family has become my whole world, I am also allowed and allowing myself to rediscover the rest of me.  I have so much inside me, so many stories yet to tell, so much to experience for me.  The more happy and peaceful I become this short trip, the better a wife and mother I can be when I get home.  They deserve all of the best of me, and often I feel that I selfishly deny them much of that – in order to give myself breathing room.  My days are constant go-go-go, give-give-give, love-love-love.  It’s nice to not do that.  Even for only a brief moment in time.

Looking forward to peace.

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On the way home

Outside my window snowy peaks sleep behind a veil of black night.  I sit cozy in a bed just big enough for stretching ones arms out in repose, snuggled in warm blankets and ready to sleep.  In my mind’s eye bears lurch through dark woods on the hills all around, elk wander softly along grassy paths, and birds rest in stupor awaiting the dawn.

Tomorrow, I will leave this place of beauty and wilderness.  The shuttle will take me, drifting, to meet the plane that will take me, floating, back to my life.  I will come home to you, my little ones, and to you, my life’s partner, but I will leave a small part of me back here.

Mountains inspire me, and forests soothe me.  Landscapes, vistas that make the heart sing and the soul blaze in fire – these call me to them.  All I want to do is walk out of this room in the cool morning and wander into the forest, up the path I can see from this window, and melt into snowscapes as the flakes do in a storm.

Yet I don’t, my tether to you strong and solid, I feel it grasp me.  We travel through time together now, borne of my strength you now bind me as firmly as I once held you.  Love, need, joy, desperation; we move to each other as magnets once more.  I bid goodbye to the peaks, the bears, the elk and the birds – they will wait, and greet me when I return, with you, to meet them.

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