A Haven Writing Retreat Loveletter

The 2015 Haven Writing Retreat calendar is full with wait lists, and we are now booking for 2016! 

(You do NOT have to be a writer to come.  Just a seeker, wanting to dig deeper into your voice and stories and set them free under the big sky!)

February 24-29
June 8-12
June 22-25
September 7-11
September 21-25
October 5-9
October 19-23

6_15_collageA Day to Observe You.  (Sent to all Haven alums with my deepest heart…from Montana, where you will always find your footprints.)

You are home now.  And I am in Montana, slowly waking to the world I left before you made the journey here and shared Haven with me. 

Home.  Re-entry.

There are all the usual things to trip on:  bills, the tea mug in the sink with the almost-dry bag, the clothes that didn’t make the cut strewn on my bedroom window-seat, the still-slow leak in the downstairs bathroom toilet, expected evidence of mouse activity in the kitchen, the hornet nest on the front porch twice as big, the rose in the vase by my bed dried to a dark pink.  The people who are wondering.  Needing.  Judging.  Expecting.  Like I expected the mice.

This is the part where I can’t quite let you go but know that I have to.  This is the part where I have to pick my pen off the page and close the book and trust that you got what you needed in playing with me in those pages, in those five sacred days, with this exact group of humans, taking intention to form to words written, then spoken.  Then released. 

Wind.  Your wind. 

Your wind has wake.  I stand in it.  All day, I will stand in it and observe it and honor it and feel it all around me, and breathe it in and out, in and out, as the sun heats up the earth and the earth heats the air and turns your wind into thermals that hawks ride…all day…knowing power for power…until the sun sinks behind the ridge, and the birds sing a dusk Taps, and your wind gentles, and trees stand sentry again, and the nests are quiet again, and your wind settles at my feet and turns to dew, and feeds bugs and sleeping frogs, and stars come out to tell me it’s time to sleep.  Your deep peaceful Montana night that is of you now.  You in your small corner, and I in mine—my grandmother’s lullaby.  All tucked in until tomorrow. 

I’m not ready for tomorrow.  I still sit in our circle.  I watched your ripples embrace the pond as I sent each of you off on your journey home, lying on the dock, my face reflected back to me, saying your name.  Each of your holy names.  Every time, (and there have been many now, hundreds of names to name)…a wind comes to blow the ripples back in a loving squall that I receive as you have received Haven. 

Thank you.

Thank you from this day of observance, a place in me that is so windblown by your honesty, your courage, your words, your wild loving windful VOICES…that I can’t imagine the world without them.  Your WIND is powerful.  YOU are POWERFUL.  You know that now.  I know you do.  Use it now.  Sometimes wild.  Sometimes gentle.  Sometimes hot and sometimes cool.  Use it.  Know that when you use your voice…your unique rare gift of a voice…you are that wind.  Those hawks.  That earth.  That sky.  And everything in-between.  That’s all there is to know about writing.  You knew it.  You just had to come to Montana to find out for sure.11390215_10152771872081266_5713115019216739589_n


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8 Responses to A Haven Writing Retreat Loveletter

  1. Thank you thank you thank you for such a beautiful letter. I remain awed by what you created for us and what you continue to create for so many others. I know that you are as grateful as we are, which is all the more reason why you have a true gift. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of Haven and know that the experience will never leave me.

  2. Sasha

    Your time, your wisdom, your inspiration, so graciously shared. Gratitude and awe can only describe the time spent at your Montana Haven. Thank you.

  3. That was so lovely. Thank you.

  4. THANK YOU for, once again, reminding me of who I am.

  5. Jan Myhre

    Your words, your gratitude and encouragement continue to inspire. I’m so grateful, too, for finding my voice among the “heart-wired.”

  6. Just felt your breeze ruffle my hair…wonderful to still feel connected.

  7. Lindsey

    What a blessing to have experienced the beauty, safety and inspiration that only Haven could bring. Laura, thank you for your guidance, your support, your knowledge, your courage and for this letter.
    I may be home now, fumbling through the reality that is life… The difference is, now when I pause to take in a breath I am transported back to all the beautiful women and like minded hearts that have eternally etched their mark on my soul.

  8. Jan Myhre

    Dear Laura, I reread your letter with fresh eyes today…eyes that see more, observe more (observation is the wellspring of the poet…is more than simply seeing) and continue to understand more of what my world is about. I feel blessed and grateful that you, dear Laura, are a part of my world. You were and are in my life to set me free over and over again…out of my head and into my heart. As we sat together, at Haven, to share our work, one of our number said we were heart-wired. We knew instantly that it was true. And we remain so to this day and will for the rest of our lives. That is the gift you share…helping us to find our voices and connecting hearts. Thank you again.

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