return again, return again,

return to the land of your soul

return to who you are, return to what you are,

return to where you are born and reborn again

I just got back from three days of extreme emotional, physical and spiritual nourishment at a beautiful retreat on the west coast of Vancouver Island. My partner and I did exactly what we love to do: We read, wrote, ate delectable home-made food we had brought with us, made love, walked along the beach. We sat in the sun as the waves rose and eddied before us, and watched movies in front of a warming fire.

For three days we let go of our quotidien concerns and opened to the healing sounds of the wide blue waters of the Juan de Fuca Strait, their rhythmic encounters with the craggy shoreline resonating through our one-room cabin.

Though it was only three days long, it felt longer. We learned that just a few days of being away from the ongoing pull of email, internet, phone and other commitments including work and community was enough to soothe our worried minds and dissipate the stress from our bodies.

As I sit here and draft this blog on my laptop, having already checked my emails and phone messages, I feel a lot more prepared to respond to the demands of life. Last week I sent in the final draft of my dissertation, after an endurance writing marathon over the last two months.  I have yet to receive feedback from my committee. They will probably request a few more changes before we send it off to the external examiner at the end of next week.

Although I have been writing for over twenty years, because I love it so much, I easily forget how much time it takes. This dissertation process has been a huge gift in that it has showed me how much time and attention and effort I expend when I am working on my writing. And that it is work. I have often dismissed that. How can I consider something that I enjoy so much work?