Day Four εїз Hope

Hope is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all— …
~ Emily Dickinson

July 12th, 2015

Hello Mother, hello Daughter,

As I walk to hot kettle this morning I am particularly struck by the sounds around. A few girls have risen and are playing. Birds are calling each other by name.

Take a deep breath, or a few if you like. Turn up your speaker volume and click box turtle photo below. Indulge yourself with this aural gift—should you choose—and join us in the sounds of this ancient forest.

My heart now feels twice the size it was than when we arrived. Full. Joyfull. Blessed. Grateful. Today is a day for greeting each moment with complete gratitude, knowing that each mighty adventurer—all 17 of us—shall leave this special place having become more of who we are meant to be, each carrying with us memories of woodland magic.

mca md butterflies 2015

To all our retreat goers, I am deeply grateful to have been a co-creator with you for this very special time in our lives.

I am grateful to our secret retreat host for having the vision, intention and for being a caretaker of such a sacred gathering place.

To the Mighty Creative Girls, I thank you for the blessing of seeing you natural and free. I saw you caring for the wildlife, and watched how your concern and reverence grew everyday. Because of each of you, I am assured our world is raising the healers we so desperately need.

Wendy, I thank you for the creative inspiration you so freely shared though out our visioning. Birthing this adventure together with you served to more deeply activate within me a wilderness–my human wildness–that I aspire to remember for all my days.

em wendy mca 2015

And to the Mothers, thank you for trusting Wendy and I, for sharing your precious daughters with us. Thank you for listening to your instincts. The memory of our girls running together barefoot amidst the rabbits, snakes, butterflies and hummingbirds is tattooed upon my soul.

emma hope mca 2015

Emma–my daughter and one of my greatest teachers–has a beautiful ability for naming things. Throughout the weekend she offered her gift by naming many of the creatures that came to her; names not as species but known fully by her heart. In the photo above, she discovered a butterfly with a small bend in its wing. She looked at it for a moment and said, “This is Hope.” She perched and clung onto Emma’s finger for a few moments… and then Hope flew up and away.

It was a moment that took my breath away, moving me completely beyond the moment.

While embracing each and every girl and woman in departure, I could feel within us lies the great Hope: I could see the possibility for our human wing-ed flights.

Thank you.

I will never forget our secret forest, or our mighty creative adventure.

in gratitude & love,

❤ becky

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Day Three εїз the Butterfly Effect

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields…

good morning, good morning, good morning….

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

~ Mary Oliver (excerpt from her poem, Why I Wake Early)

July 11th, 2015

Hello Mother, hello Daughter,

Top of the morning to you, Turtle … or Terrapin? Here you are, whatever we humans call you… gliding in the forest. Delectable synchronicity! Were your ears ringing the other day? Uhh, do you have ears? Oh yes, sorry, of course you have, they just look a little different than mine. Hmmm, I was just talking about you few days ago in Raleigh; did you hear me? I was telling my friend about how I had never seen a terrapin before, and … well…HERE you are turtle? terrapin? perhaps to teach me about discernment? Taking your turtley time walking through the forest on your way somewhere important I’m sure. Oh, it was so very considerate of you to pop by and to time your stroll at the exact moment I was going get my first morning tea. We are so happy to meet you, oh and to gently put you back in the same exact spot we found you so you can continue on your way.

mighty terrapin mca 2015mightycreative terrapin 2015

Oh and moth, aren’t you extraordinary? Oh yes, I see you…. You with your contrasting stripes and swirls, making quite the fashion statement… making other moths–a bit well–perhaps more edible?moth mca 2015

And MMMMMadame Butterfly: Taking your sweet time, fanning your wings, sunbathing while dining on a lily. Oh the life! Have you heard what some people say about you and the Butterfly Effect: that the beat of a your wings can be felt around the world? Right now as I am with you–you and your splendid magnificence –how could I possibly believe anything but…. butterflies? I do believe in butterflies. I do. I do. I do.

wings to fly mca 2015

and look, look, look at the beautiful humans: friends, smiling, and up to something curious, yes?!

mighty friends 2015

and oh, my… more butterflies… Eastern Swallowtails or Spice Bush are you? I beg your pardon if I am mistaking your species, but a butterfly by any other name, perhaps smells as sweet? I have to ask you, why do you always come to this particular patch of dewy grass every morning for your proboscis full of morning dewcoffee? Something about the shade? The sun? I wonder…I marvel…I believe.

spice butterflies mca 2015

Oh, and look … that Mom is eating more hummus. Good thing there was lots of it. Earlier there was a discussion about the gourmet Sriracha Mango flavored hummus that mysteriously vanished quicker than you could say “Sriracha!” (Thank you Roots for generously gifting the girls and moms plenty of hummus and chips for our adventurous palettes. Delicious!)roots hummus 2015  mca

Hmmm.

There are more messengers and teachers in the forest than I could ever have imagined. Nature and animals teaching, if we pay attention and open our awareness to what comes into our space. And–even though we are leaving this enchanted place tomorrow–thankfully back at home, nature is everywhere there too–around us, before us, above us, beneath us. No lack of teachers, even those of us who live in cities… Mama Nature is everywhere. I am so grateful for these teachers.

εїз on butterfly wings εїз
love & creatiful blessings,

❤ becky

Day Two εїз the Beauty Way

I walk in Beauty,
Beauty before me.
Beauty behind me.
Beauty inside.
Beauty all around.
I walk in beauty all around.
~ Kathleen Hannan, inspired by a sacred Navajo Prayer

July 10th, 2015

Hello Mother, hello Daughter,

Wendy and I bunked together on the 2nd floor of Narnia; Emma in the loft above, and Abbey in the hammock bed below. Each night when we went to bed, we talked and giggled… the 13-year-old in me was more than content.

It had been a dream of mine to work together with Wendy on a project intending love and creativity for girls and their mothers, and now we were in full flow and beauty of it.

Today was a day for creativity and drinking in the beauty all around us.

That morning, we went and sat on the rocks beside the stream and made river talismans. Time was unhurried … time seemed almost to stop. That morning could have been 200 years ago, women and girls sitting together, cotton in hands, hand tying and present with our handwork, intention and each other. (One of the enchanted forest’s secrets is that time perception changes here.)

river talis mca 2015

After our timelessness beside the stream, we went for a hike to explore the Pisgah National Forest. This forest is one of the oldest in America,  so much diversity, so many rare species. The rewilding continued…

woodland trail mca 2015

We walked with our awareness in the full present moment; looking, sensing, smelling, and feeling our way up straight up the woodland trail. We looked to nature as our teacher and guide…

tree roots mca 2015

woodland walk mca 2015I felt supported and surrounded by the strength and splendor of mother earth and inspired by the curiosity of the wildly wonderful humans beside me.

When we returned to our camp the girls played in the bamboo, swayed in the tree swings and found more butterflies.

mca 2015 butterbush

Beauty all around.

The girls and moms discovered beautiful natural wood bracelets and crushed velvet bags sent from our creatifully-charged contributor DIY Bangles. At dusk we gathered on the grass to painted them. Thank you so much for your generous gifting!

tree circle mca 2015 diybangles mca 2015diybangles 2 mca 2015

We played and created so much beauty today. There is more joy and beauty to come tomorrow. Now off to get some beauty sleep….

love & creatiful blessings,

❤ becky

Opening Day εїз Wings to Fly

What will
our children do in the morning?
Will they wake with their hearts wanting to play,
the way wings
should?

What will our children do in the morning
if they do not see us
fly?

~ Rumi

July 9th 2015

Hello Mother, hello Daughter,

The day began courtesy of woodland magic: I was awakened by the sound of wings flying near and above my bed… a grand and gentle start to the day. I didn’t see fluttering bird, but I said good morning and wondered if there could be a more magical way to awaken naturally? I lay in bed listening to the cascading stream beside our shelter–Narnia–which had only recently been built. Smelling of wood and earth (new Narnia smell) I felt safe, although the woods and nature were a hand stroke away.

river mca narnia

I got up as we had much to do before our Mighty Creative Adventurers’ arrival.

I walked barefoot across the earth towards the Lodge where a hot kettle and tea awaited.

The grass feels different here, i thought. Older. Moist with mountain dew. Sweeter. Perhaps more sacred, if that is possible.

walk in the woods mca 2015

Wendy, my daughters and I began our loving bustle, putting the gift bags together, taking turns smelling and using the lovely gifts from our generous contributors, planning how the bags would unite with the girls and moms. It was a delight to play in this creative way with Wendy, to see our loving intentions and planning blossom from our imaginations and ideas and take new form as the beginning of the physical Adventure. We decided to leave the Mama journals out for them to choose. (Thank you so much to Ecojot for these beautiful gifts for our moms and girls!)mca tree 2015 ecojot

Throughout the day I walked around in trancey joy. It all was coming into BEing now. Our new friends–moms and girls–were on their way via planes and cars–intended and destined–heeding the magical call of the mountains. Each Mom and every Girl arrived safely and joyfully, some travelling more than 10 hours by car.

We had our opening circle: 17 smiling faces and open hearts ready to adventure, create, learn and share — together.

We grounded our gathering by sharing a meal tenderly made by our entire group, taking turns stirring in our thoughts and intentions for the days to come, with our blessing spoon.

Food is love that becomes us.

In the evening we gathered in the dark. Using air-dry clay, Moms secretively made tiny clay totem owls to perch in the heart of the luminatriums their daughters were making. We talked, laughed and listened, as we used our hands in loving intention for our daughters.

whimsical-owls white

We offered our owl creations to our daughters.

We were ready for fireside story and s’more celebration but we were in need of a fire. My daughter Abbey, carefully crafted a fire for our group, under near complete darkness, but for the light of the lanterns the girls had just made. I was in awe of her strength and disposition–her humility and simultaneous conscious way of working–as she followed her instincts on what best to add or not, making a healthy glowing fire to feed our adventurers and light our night.

mca 2015 fire keeper

Full of chocolate and sense of loving community, we headed to bed feeling grateful for new friendships… anticipating more woodland days and nights to come.

love & creatiful blessings,

❤ becky

(some pictures shared courtesy of Emma and Abbey, my daughters)

into the woods εїз becky and daughters’ arrival

Into the woods-
It’s time, and so
I must begin my journey.

The way is clear,
The light is good,
I have no fear,
Nor no one should.

The woods are just trees,

The trees are just wood….
~ Stephen Sondheim

Wednesday, July 8th

Hello Mother, hello Daughter,

We left our home in Raleigh, our minivan chocked full with gifts, surprises, art supplies, and food enough for five days for 17 of us. My heart trembled with realization … as –together with my daughters now ages 14 and 12– we had embarked on the pilgrimage I had been dreaming of for nearly a year to the day.

This journey represents multiple dreams coming true: the dream of my daughters experiencing for themselves the secrets of the woods, the dream of co-creating an artful retreat with my dear friend Wendy Cook, and the dream of offering loving time and space for sacred sharing between mothers together and their daughters. Blessings Womanifest!

After several hours of sunshiny driving, we hit an intense patch–an hour of driving in torrential rain –yes, think cats and dogs. I took it as a cleansing (and bonus–the minivan needed a good clean 😉 ) Eventually the clouds and rain lifted as my daughters and I began the off-road portion of our journey, closer to our secret place in the the woods. mountain driving mca 2015 With Sondheim’s musical lyrics Into the Woods singing in my mind, I began thinking about how far removed so much of our modern culture has become, distanced away from the very nature that sustains our lifestyles.

♫♪ Into the woods it’s time we go ♫♪ … to rewild our bodies and souls. rewilding mca 2015 All at once we noticed so many things…. just how many variations on green are there? and oh so many different plants! Our senses awakened feeling each bump in the dirt road, slowing down to keep up with the butterfly fly-bys guiding our way. We arrived at the secret location where our Mighty Creative dream was about to come true. I can’t wait to see the girls’ reactions to this magical place. I can’t wait to greet the moms and tell them they are home. flowergarden mca 2015 What wonder awaits?! What joys will be discovered?! What secrets will nature reveal? What new friends will arrive to share our adventure?! butterflies postcard 2015   Butterflies abound all around and within. Feeling wildly blessed. til tomorrow…

love & creatiful blessings,

❤ becky