When I first started retreating in 2007, it was sort of on a whim… hubby was (& still is) a retail business owner, with limited opportunity for long vacations and I was (at the time) in a high-stress corporate job with LOTS of vacation time. We agreed I should try a solo vacation as a way to destress and explore the world a little.
From the very beginning, I was drawn to women’s retreats – I felt there would be something safe and comforting in a gathering of women and I was soooooo right about that! Last week, I returned to the Texas Hills for my second year of Lucky Star Art Camp. After at least 15 different retreat experiences over the years since that first in 2007, I say every year, “it just doesn’t get any better than that.” But it always does get better and this year at Lucky Star was no different.
I believe there is a certain magic required for a retreat to be successful – the director of the camp has to be, first and foremost, a true blue, deep down, believer in magic and Lisa Field believes better than anyone I’ve ever met!
She’s been able to pull together just the right place, teachers, support personnel/family, campers and energy for dreams to, most indubitably, come true. Every little detail matters and she pulls it all off with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes (photo above is shamelessly “borrowed” from Lisa’s own Facebook page – isn’t she gorgeous!).
The place, Camp Waldemar, just outside of Hunt TX, is one little piece of that magic. A girls camp since its beginning in 1926, there is an energy there that is different from anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s a purely feminine energy – a place of turning inward, while also opening your heart; a place of sinking in, while shining bravely; a place of unbelievable beauty. From the Guadalupe river that frames the property, to the giant Cypress trees that hold court along its banks, to the stone and Spanish-influence of the architecture, the world-class chef, the horses, the archery, the massage offerings – it is truly a place of beauty, peace and magic.
The teachers are collected from all walks of life – all ages, disciplines, belief systems – but somehow they all seem to share that daydream believer magic. My classes this year were an eclectic mix and I loved every single one – leather working with Becky Dawson’s Cowgirl Clutch, exploring the medicine wheel with Elizabeth Quigg, art journaling Mindy Lacefield-style and Hookin (crochet-style) with Cal Patch.
The support team was made up of Lisa’s friends and family, which consisted of LOTS of mother energy this year, which I think may have contributed, at least in part, to some of the nurturing and caregiving that was so very present. It just filled my little-ole-mommy heart and made me dream of bringing my girl next year!
The campers too were cut from special cloth. Those returning from last year had grown somehow more luminous, birthing babies and ideas, standing a little taller, a little braver. And those who were new were transformed overnight into braver, bolder versions of themselves. I cannot wait to see what’s born in time for camp next year!
There’s just something about this particular retreat that grows deeper each time I experience it. Along the banks of the Guadalupe, on the porch of K9, sharing a table in the dining hall – it just seems that worries and fears have less tooth; the moments seem longer, deeper, richer; it’s all at once comforting and exciting, challenging and life-affirming, inspiring and oh-sooooooo-healing.