25 September 2012

Road Trip: Squam Art Workshops

I have been home from Squam for over a week now. It has taken me this long to process my thoughts and the photos. I attended Sqaum Art Workshops held at the Rockywold-Deephaven camps. This was my second trip and it was just as magical as the first. Elizabeth, the founder of the retreat, somehow has the ability to transform camp into a blissful place where it feels like everything you've ever dreamt for yourself can come true.

It is hard to describe the experience because there is nothing like it. You walk in full of anxiety, fears about inadequacy, and most times wondering what the hell are you doing here. Nevertheless, you are quickly cocooned by loving embraces of other women who feel exactly as you do, and almost as instantly as you settle into your cabin, the low cloud seems to dissipate.

There truly is no other word for it, but magical.

There is magic in the beams of sunshine that filter through the tree branches into your bedroom. You wake under the warmth of a down comforter and slip out onto the cold, wood floor. The air is crisp, cool, and quiet.

There is magic on the dock at sunrise. The ripples in the water passing on a message of love and confidence that the day will be spectacular.

There is magic when you're taking a quiet walk through the woods and the volume of piano music slowly increases so as to take over your thoughts. And as you find the source in the open air playhouse, you happily discover a lumberjack with the talented fingers. His foot keeping the beat.

There is magic in the hidden hammock hanging from the trees.

There is magic hanging from the rafters with reminders of the life lessons you still need to learn.

There is magic in Maya Stein's words. As if every word she has written and every word she has spoken was meant just for you.

There is magic when simple forest trails lead you on an adventure of the mind.

Where wishes can be found embraced by trees,

or hiding under rocks, nestled on the lichen,

or hanging from the branches.

The message for your own soul so obvious to you now.

Magic can be found around every corner if you just take the time to stop and live in the moment.

I returned home this year learning more about myself than I ever thought I would. Walking in, it felt like bad timing, but the magic that kept breaching my attention was just how right the timing was.

It's hard to describe the experience and maybe only those that attend will ever know the bond you create with nature, with your own abilities, and with the fresh love of women who ultimately, are searching for the same. For the second time, I am forever altered.


To view more photos from Squam, jump over to my Squam flickr page.


  1. Love your images and your words, Abby! (I would have loved to of heard that man playing the piano.) You are right...magic is such the perfect word for what transpires at Squam.

    1. I thought so too, but it's very hard to put the experience into words.

  2. A beautiful description of such a wonderful place. Thank you.


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