I am at a writing workshop with Road Scholar on the Oregon Coast. I was attracted to this particular one for several reasons. I knew it was beautiful here. I drove this mildly developed coast while working many years ago. I’ve been struggling a bit with writer’s block and goals for my writing. Having a group setting to inspire me and play with my craft seemed smart. And I was happy that this was a women’s only event.
Yesterday’s agenda included a naturalist-guided walk on the beach, an overview of the geology of this area, memoir writing and a talk on the natural history of Oregon. Today, I feel like I know just about everything about the ground on which I’m standing. I know the history, the geological evolution of this very spot, what’s rolling up on the beach and which creatures surround me. In my morning run, I got the lay of the land. And in the memoir writing session, I got to know the women who surround me. Dinner last night was a much more intimate experience than the lunch hours before.
It was after the Women’s Quest trip in Kona that I started writing. I credit that trip with building enough confidence in myself to embrace my own past and build a new future. A picture from that trip launched this blog. When I look at that photo, I see a woman who was ready to flip the switch from merely living to flying.
We are nestled in a headlands directly on a beach. The animals and plants that survive on a beach have to endure constantly changing water levels, strong winds and natural predators. Tide pools are an oasis for sea creatures. It allows them some stability in which to thrive. They hang on as water washes over them constantly, find ways to keep from drying out in the sunshine and hope that food comes to them where they are anchored. And, in their oasis, they create a beautiful mosaic of sea life.
We did not see a tide pool yesterday. There isn’t one on this beach within walking distance. But we saw one in pictures last night. It was so pretty with its colorful starfish and anemones. It reminded me of this group of women who have gathered here in this inn. As the memoirs were read one by one by those who chose to do so, these women came to life for me. No longer foreign faces, I found connections with each one.
I went to bed feeling like a colorful starfish in a tide pool. Beautiful on my own but even lovelier in my efforts to thrive with others in this unrelenting ever-changing life. Our instincts tell us to settle here for a week of spiritual food, writing and laughter. It is a sacred journey. I am already forming deeper connections with those whose lives mirror my own. My roots sink in. I am part of this tide pool for the next few tides. We will each discover something for sure – about ourselves, this place or our fellow travelers. May the writing begin.