Maybe I Understand Grace Now

Now Booking the fall Haven Writing Retreats in Montana:

September 18-22(a few spots left)

September 25-29 (a few spots left)

Come find your voice in the woods of Montana…and return home new.

Go here for more info, and to set up a call with Laura to learn more:


Well, another Haven retreat has passed and I am in that zone again. It’s somewhere between having watched a miracle and wanting more. It’s the place where lofty words like grace and awe and wonder and purity come from. We played. We became more aware of our best selves. And maybe our worst selves. We honored and supported each other. We broke through. We belly-laughed. We are home now. Me included.
Back to bills and emails and kids not really caring that we just found transformation because they need new shoes, and bosses who are kinda like: yeah…great. Did you join a cult or something? You have a look in your eye that I’m not exactly sure will go over well at our next annual meeting. Whatever.

After breakfast on the last day, we say goodbye to people that just four days ago were total strangers, and Them, and Better than, or Afraid of, or Worse than…and are now family. It happens every time. We become community. We have been through something together and we are better for it. Maybe healed. Definitely inspired. Braver for sure.


And after everybody leaves, I lie on my stomach on the dock and swirl my finger in the water, sending out ripples for each person, naming them, one by one, sending them off to their lives from the ranch in Montana to wherever they will land. Watching as the ripples go out and out until they become lake and settle into the world of nature, purpose, intention, mindfulness, reverberation of heart language.

This time, I told the group that I would be doing this ritual on their behalf. And I got a note the last morning from one of the retreaters. She said, “Read this before you go to the dock.” And I did. They all went off and I heaved a deep breath, fighting tears, feeling joy…and read her note. It thanked me and Haven and Montana and the ranch and the group. And it gave me this challenge: when I swirled out my God-speed, I was to feel it coming back to me. I wondered if I would be able to do that. I readied myself, and I went to the dock. Lay on my stomach. Put my finger in. Swirled and sent for each of these dear, brave, creative sisters.

And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, on an otherwise still day, a breeze came through, across the lake. And just as the first ripple touched the other side of the lake, launching…the ripples came back to me. Until they squalled over and disappeared. And a loon flew over. And I felt perhaps one of the most complete acts of love I’ve known. Thank you to you all. I love you.


Filed under Haven Newsletter, My Posts, Retreats

11 Responses to Maybe I Understand Grace Now

  1. Wow, Laura. This gives me chills. So, so wonderful. Grace is in relationships like these, the ones that allow us to see ourselves more clearly, and the world in all of its beauty. Thank you for reminding me of that. xox

  2. Thank for providing a HAVEN where creativity, caring, and epiphanies were the daily fare. I’m forever amazed and changed. What a gift!

  3. Renee

    I left a piece of my heart in Montana. Thank you Laura.

  4. Perfect. All of it. And you.

  5. Lisa

    a pool of raw honey we all waded through
    thick and sticky
    with the ultimate sweet ending…
    Thank you for believing! xoxo

  6. Pamela J Martin

    Stunning…. thank you, xxx.

  7. Polly Driscoll

    I just read this and the intensity of it and of your beautiful writing filled me, once again, with gratitude , awe and love at the power of A Safe Haven. Thank you Laura and thank you too Caboodles. We were and will continue to be brave souls on a magical journey together !
    Thank you all so very much. And to you, Laura, there are many more ripples on there way back to you and many more loons flying over.

  8. Katie Crane

    Still marveling at the intensity of this experience. It will forever be one of my most favorite memories no matter where life takes me. Laura, I hope you can fully appreciate what a special experience you helped create. I miss you all and am very grateful to have connected with each of you during the course of the retreat. Love, Katie

  9. Love it! So glad that you all could enjoy the magic of community and writing. If only life could be a writing retreat every day! Hmmm….maybe that’s something to think about!

  10. I could feel the breeze.

  11. Sally LaBonte

    What a beautiful reminder of a magical time in my life that I shared with you Laura and all my fellow family retreaters.
    Montana and my time at the ranch is like a mystical dream that I sometimes have to remind myself… Yes it did really happen.
    I will forever feel grateful for the Haven experience knowing that I am connected to others through life, love, writing and experience. Thank you again Laura for Haven!!!!!

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