The day after springing forward into Daylight Savings Time isn’t the worst day. It’s the day after the day of springing forward that’s the killer. That day is the one that has me dragging my lunchbox out of my car after work and slinging it on the counter with all the strength of a feeble ground squirrel. And yet, here we are, springing forward into spring. Buds are erupting on the trees outside my window, and robins are bouncing everywhere.
Winter is often my time to slow down, take stock, and savor life, but this year, it seemed the winter was so brief (only 3 snow days?!!) that I didn’t even get my annual 1000-piece puzzle finished. With each passing season, with each passing year, time seems to accelerate, while all I want is for life to slow way, way down.
In the face of the frantic, daily grind, I find there are a few things that make time slow. One of them is walking in nature, another is meditating, and, the one I enjoy the most, is writing. All three of these exercises require me to slow my roll and pay attention – when I’m walking, I’m paying attention to the path, the trees, and the nature around me. When I’m meditating, I’m thinking about my breath – in and out, in and out. And when I’m writing, I’m thinking about connecting language to experience to keystrokes. All three activities produce a stillness in me that makes time deepen and hollow out the tense places in my shoulders and back.
Which is why I’m looking forward so much to the Spring MWP Writing Retreat, Saturday, April 23, at the Gateway Arts Center in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. We will start with coffee and a few delicious breakfast pastries, and of course, some great warm-up writing. Our two main sessions will be led by poets Carole Johnston and Chris McCurry, both of which deal with the presence of language and the sensitivity of time and place. We will eat lunch catered by Mt. Sterling’s fabulous lunch destination, Spoonful of Sugar, and in the afternoon, we will embark on a writing walkabout in downtown Mt. Sterling. The final stop will be on the front porch of Sterling Meadows, the old Mt. Sterling High School, for wine, cheese and crackers and sharing our work.
Everyone is invited – poets, writers, teachers, dreamers, or just those who need an afternoon to relax and make time slow down. We welcome all! Only 40 spots are available, so register early to claim one. You can register online at www.moreheadwritingproject.org/weekend-writing-retreat The cost is $50 which includes lunch and a notebook. If you are a teacher, six hours of professional development is also available.
Hope to see you there!