I’m still floating on the experiences of gathering with a bunch of writing people in beautiful Texas Hill Country in September. These are some of the things I remember.
The deep green invitation of the Frio River.
A heron flapping past the cafeteria window at breakfast.
A wide-ranging, warm conversation over bedtime-snack cobbler after a concert.
A loaf of bread at each table every night.
The shrieks and hugs of friends who hadn’t seen each other since last year, or longer, or who were meeting face to face for the first time.
A conversation with a new friend, in our kayaks atop the Frio River.
The utterly enchanting toddler.
The tireless and well-put-together women in the office, up before dawn and up past bedtime.
The communion of late-night conversation.
The comforting envelopment of a gentle rain.
The single women who come not to retreat, from busyness, but to soak up contact with other people.
The vibrations in the old hymnals as we held them and sang.
The balms of the Blue Hole.
Ashley Cleveland’s fuchsia guitar, and the beauty in the curve.
The dignity and grace of a woman who fell in the river twice and kept her glasses on.
The lightness of not locking doors and not knowing much farther into the future than the next few hours.
What I remember most, though, is every person who sat across from me or beside me in the fellowship of the cafeteria table and shared something vulnerable and true. Everyone’s a geode once you crack them open. I’m so grateful for those inner gems we got to see, and show.