‘Should we cancel?’
This has been the theme for the past month, since I got back from Tasmania. We tend to lean into optimism, only cancelling or postponing retreats when we have no choice. Wherever possible, everything is fluid until the last minute.
July’s retreats were either redesigned to be smaller, to cater for local guests only, or moved to later dates. This week, however, we had to postpone all retreats for August. Thankfully, we haven't had to cancel or postpone Inner landscaping, and although our current group is much smaller than usual, we are already four weeks into the twelve work journey.
We did have to make a call and postpone our family birthday party, scheduled for early September. All four of us are having significant birthdays. Excitement was high, as we’d fantasised about a party to rival Peter’s legendary 50th.
Restrictions are wearing thin, and not just because I’m sulking about postponements. Like everyone, I’m not used to feeling caged, as if my world is shrinking, and I can no longer stretch my wings. Staring at the horizon and the sky beyond has become a hobby.
This has all been much harder on Shannon than it has been for me, as she is the one who communicates with our guests, facilitators, caterers, yoga instructors, massage therapists and housekeepers, as she constantly resets our calendar on these shifting sands. It is sad to have to pull the plug after all the work that goes into organising.
Trying to find forward dates to rebook is tricky too. Firstly, because we don't know when we’ll be free to do so, and secondly because our calendar was fully booked until well into next year, with no available dates for rebooking. I’m so grateful that Shannon took the reins while I was in Tasmania, and still holds them now. I did meet my writing goals while I was away, but there is still much work to do. Her patience makes it possible for me to continue writing, to reflect on my time away, and adjust to being back home.
There were countless moments, when I was tucked away in my cosy little writing-nest in Cygnet, when waves of wonder washed over me and I’d take a deep breath and say aloud, ‘I’m so happy’. I've loved writing a number of times in the past, when it undoubtedly felt like the right thing to be doing, but over the years I’d lost the joy. All or nothing, is my preferred MO, so I’m already thinking about dates to book for next year.
The deep, immersive experience of writing is like nothing else. Disappearing into creativity is bliss. I loved it so much I didn’t want to stop, and if I could I wanted to write all day and night. There was a time twenty years ago when I could sustain that kind of routine, but those days are gone. Now I know that in order to keep writing, I need to move, eat and sleep too.
In Tassie my days were curated to include daily walking, lots of soup and greens, and a minimum of eight hours sleep most nights. Sunrise and sunsets were my favourite times to walk, and I had weekly cookups when I’d prepare three or four different soups for the week ahead. Once a week my oldest friend Annie, and I would venture up mountains or into the bush for longer hikes.