Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Journal ~ New Retreat Adventure

With this new journal first page, I've taken flight, off towards the California Sierras to lead my third annual "Women's Journaling Sierra Retreat". The eight hour drive has various high points, noting my progress and stops for the bathroom and Chai Tea. But I tend to get revived and excited when I near Lake Alpine . . . I know the signs. These earthy piles of granite. Or the magnificently tall trees poking into blue, blue sky.

I arrive at the Lake Alpine Resort just after 3pm and start to gather the slower mountain energy. I meet up with my dear friend and tandem-teacher, Jean Warren and we get unpacked. Anxiously, we head out for a late afternoon hike along the west end of the lake. The long view afforded with the lake in the foreground and the bountiful, plump cumulus dancers across the distance is one of my favorite. Smiles take over.We dinner at the casual Lodge and discuss our agenda for our free day before participants begin to arrive.

Sun peeks thru our cabin windows and after breakfasting, we trek off towards the east lake area. We visit our familiar rocks, where we have always done our yoga. Good, no major changes there. With the luxury of leisure on our hands, we catch how the moon positions above our heads. We do befriend a feathery friend ~ this sweet, amiable bird who nests close as Jean 'n I savor the granite's warmth. Eventually, this lil' bird becomes somewhat our mascot, visiting us intermittently during the retreat and even joining us for mornin' yoga sessions.

I've already started plotting my first journal page in this new journal. Our bird mascot, our retreat flier,  some local collectibles (used to have this plastic red "Cherrio-like" item, but it popped off) and a space for my paper clay creation. Seems to have become a tradition of inserting one of these creations, with some personal symbolism, into each  new journal. For me, it makes the "new white journal page" less daunting. I'd earlier shaped this dark cloud in my paper clay, let it dry, then painted it ~ front and back. I'll later seal it with Mod Podge to complete the demo for the retreat and at some time, stitch my "cloud" into the actual page. This insert also determines a challenging "design element" on the next few pages, as I cut out the outline to accommodate the 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness of the paper clay element. Just more fun things to work into the pages ~ yummmmm!!!

And so . . . an new journal is under way . . . and the Retreat energy begins to gather momentum . . .