My experience of never having been to Squam.

I did it!  On January 9th I submitted my registration to Squam Art Workshopsagain.

I had first read about this amazing art retreat on Amanda Soule’s blog, Soulemama about a year and a half ago (you must click here and here to read all about her own unique experience of this event and the community created there).  I read her first post and I explored the Squam website…and I knew it offered something that I needed.

The deadline for submissions was fast approaching and I had to make a few decisions like, if no one will go with me, dare I go alone?  Yes.  I dared!

Which classes to take?  Travel by car, train or air?  How exactly to find the money…

It all feel into place.  I was going to attend the Fall 2011 session!  Exciting and terrifying – such an intoxicating mix!

But then life threw me a curve ball.  It was not meant to be.  I made the difficult decision not to go to Squam.  At the time I was consumed with the issue at hand and my disappointment was overshadowed by more important matters.

And so you’d think that my post about Squam would end there.  I didn’t go.  I don’t have a personal Squam story to tell do I?

But this is the MAGIC of Squam.

I’ve been touched by it.  I didn’t have to attend Squam to feel it or know it.  Squam begins before you’ve ever set foot on the grounds…and I’ve heard it lasts long after you leave…

I contacted Elizabeth to let her know I could no longer attend and to enquire as to how to proceed.  I felt so awful taking up her time knowing full well that a month before a huge event like is NOT the time to bother the woman planning it!!  I expected an efficient reply with my options regarding what to do and that was about it.  What I received was so much more…I felt like I had contacted an old friend.  Elizabeth offered caring, concern and never once did she ask why I had cancelled.  No hint of resentment or impatience or judgement.  Through email she exuded a kindness, an incredible sense of calm (through email people!  THAT is hard to do!!).  I was immensely grateful.

At Elizabeth’s direction I put the word out to the other Squam-hopefuls on the Squam Yahoo group.  I asked if any one would take my spot to help recoup the cost.  Within hours I received 6 messages.  Two were to enquire about taking my spot.  Four were messages expressing concern, offerings of prayers, telling me they hoped it would all work out.  The next day there were more messages with the same incredible mix of sorting out my immediate problem and offering me words of encouragement and wishing me well.

You see?  I didn’t have to go to Squam to be touched by this wonderful community.

And so it worked out.  Someone (a wonderful person named Brittany Soucy) did me the favour of exchanging my registration for hers.  In an email I asked her to “promise to have an extra-good time”.  She promised.

And so once again, you’d think the story would end there.  But it didn’t.  Brittany sent me a card in the mail.  A handmade card.  On the front it read:  It will be okay.

…and it was.

Squam June 2012 or BUST!!!!!!!


3 responses

  1. dear kelli,
    what a beautiful and heart touching story, thank you for taking the time to share this with us. elizabeth and the entire squam community have been such a support to so many.
    i am so glad you are coming this year and i look forward to seeing your smiling face
    walking down the path . 🙂
    jen gray

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