The one thing that we have continued (thanks to others more proactive and organised than me!) is our annual 'Wild Women Weekend', usually in February or March. We rent a self-catering property somewhere in Cumbria and get together to reconnect with our shared creative roots. It's always a magical, heart-warming experience. Not just to see everyone again, but to spend time doing the kind of activities that, for me at least, everyday life all too easily pushes out. We write, we dance, we paint, we connect with nature, we share rituals, we light fires and candles, we do tarot readings, we make wishes (or spells if that's what you prefer). And of course we eat and laugh and drink! It's a heady mix and my 'normal' life seems a bit monochrome when I come back after the weekend. But of course the challenge is to bring that Wild Women colour into everyday life. Other members of the group are better at that than me - as you can see from the links above.
This year, we were in an isolated 18th century farmhouse, Carhullan House, west of Shap. It was a fabulous spot. Very isolated, at the end of the track, dwarfed by the wide skies and open views across the hills. On the Saturday, I woke to the typical weather I remember suffering when I lived in Cumbria - drizzle, low cloud and grey, dank skies. It used to depress me. By late afternoon, the clouds were lifting and on Sunday we had the weather I remember loving in Cumbria - bright, crisp sunshine, with a big, blue sky stretching out above the fells. For the first time since I left Cumbria, nearly 4 years ago, it felt good to be back. I'm glad I don't live there any more, but the complicated feelings I was left with about that whole life episode, seem to have eased enough for me to remember why I was enticed to move there in the first place. It's called the Eden Valley for good reason.
Typical Cumbrian weather. Sodden.
The clouds start to clear.
Wall and sky.
More walls, more sky.
Carhullan House, Sunday morning.