A reader’s retreat by any other name

I was up late last night reading This Boy’s Life. Six hours later I woke up to walk in the dark with three dozen others up the hills to watch the sun slide up over the ridge beyond Grass Valley.

Last year, we rather infamously led an unfortunate group of followers down the hill.  Last year, at the first Y in the road, we chose left when we should have chosen right and thus, we emerged from the network of trails far–very, very, tragically far–from our target.  When we realized the error of our directionally-challenged ways, we jogged out of sight to avoid blame.

This year, we chose right instead of left and still failed to return to the spot we’d begun.  However, our error was smaller.  For one thing, no one was following us.  For another, we covered much less ground.

Despite the lack of sleep, I feel pretty refreshed.  I’ve had several good conversations with friends.  I’ve had encouragement from actual living breathing novelists.  One of them even supplied a solution to a problem of narration that has plagued me.  (Thank you, Angela Hunt.)

This afternoon, four of us trekked over to the Henry Cowell Redwood Forest (I think that’s the name) and looped our way around the path circling the most majestic redwood trees.  I understand why some poets have conjured up the image of a forest as a cathedral.  (I hope I have not just made that up.  Didn’t someone do that?  Did I just make that up?)  I’d post some pictures except that my blog is broken.  Some day I’ll fix that.

Not that pictures do justice to those monster 2,000 year old trees.

Tomorrow, I’m heading home.  It seems like I just arrived, but my regular life waits for me.  My daughter, especially, misses me.  She’s only seven, so maybe she won’t miss me so much for many more years and then I’ll miss that.

So anyway, I was reading yesterday, thinking, someone ought to start a reader’s retreat . . . a writer’s retreat is fine and all, but a reader’s retreat would be awesome. But then I realized that a “reader’s retreat” is just another name for a vacation . . . if you don’t have kids.  A vacation with kids is pretty much just regular life in another location resulting in twice the work.

Anyway, a reading vacation sounds lovely, doesn’t it?  Two weeks on a chaise lounge reading while someone brings a never-ending supplies of ice and Diet Coke and brownies.   Can someone make me a reservation?

2 thoughts on “A reader’s retreat by any other name

  1. they are awesome in the biggest sense of the word. i can still smell the damp forest floor littered with decay and yet so alive. something I hope to carry with me all my days (just in case I don’t get to visit the trees again)

    and you are right about poets


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