Today will likely be strange for me--not because of what is happening here, but because of what is happening at Lutheridge, my home away from home in the North Carolina mountains. One of my tribes is meeting on the mountain for the Create in Me retreat; I can't go because next week is our accreditation visit at my school. The retreat is 12 hours away (even if I went by plane, the travel would take at least 8 hours, in terms of getting to airports early, waiting on connecting flights and/or renting a car at the other end); I can't zip up for an afternoon the way some have in the past when they couldn't come for the whole retreat.
I've missed the retreat once before, in 2015 when my whole family went on a vacation to Hawaii. I didn't feel left out then. I feel a bit left out this year.
And what's present this year that wasn't in 2015: the fear that I will never make it back to this retreat. I'm at a very small campus, and it's hard to get away in a way that it wasn't at my old school. The retreat moves, which makes it even harder to know the future--the retreat is always the week-end after Easter, because the retreat can have the whole camp. That's great for the retreat, but it means that the retreat will sometimes fall during a week where it's more difficult to get away--the week before Spring quarter begins, for example, which is an all-hands-on-deck time on my small campus.
But I'm trying to stay in this current moment and let the future take care of itself. A year ago, I wouldn't have forecast my current life. It's hard to know what next year will truly be like or the year after that.
So, although I can't be at the retreat, I'll be more intentional than usual in doing some creative work. I'll remember that even if I can't be with my far-flung artist friends, I can be here with local friends. I'll conserve my strength and energy for next week's accreditation tasks. I'll do self-care. I'll remember that life won't always be this way, and I'll try to treasure the moments of this week-end, without spending too much time mired in mourning what has passed away or worrying about what's to come.
These are good goals for any week-end! But they're essential for me this week-end.
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