I am at a writing retreat in the mountains.  I have notebooks- new and old. Pens- black and blue. Coffee and a spectacular view of the countryside overlooking a perfectly inviting wooden desk. There are three other writers here- dedicated, beautiful, serious writers providing the perfect backdrop and setting for creative explosion. Only there doesn't seem to be a single thing inside of me ready or willing to explode. 

I look at the thicket of forest outside my window on the other side of the gently moving blanket of fog and feel like I've been dropped off in the wilderrness by helicopter with only a machete. No GPS, compass or guide.

I have traveled here before, cutting swaths of path through impenetrable forest blow by blow. I just didn't expect to find myself here again. Or if I did I thought I'd know how to get out and where to go.

Yesterday a friend and I took a steep, hot walk through the mountains. The sun blazed while raindrops the size of wet plums pelted us at intervals. Covered in sweat and with blistered feet from my poor choice of shoes we cut through an opening in the trees to find the river where we waded before surrendering our bodies, fully clothed, to the delicious cold of the water.

Later that night we sat on the cushioned rocking chairs of the front porch as lightning flashed across the night sky in a fantastic display of fireworks and thunder. God was really showing off in pure and vibrant grandiosity, as strings of white Christmas lights twinkled like fireflies along the railing.

The river and the storm were pure heaven but they did not tell me what kind of book I need to write next or what direction to set out from in this place of not knowing. This doesn't mean I can dig a hole to bury myself in or that I should light SOS flares for rescue. Just that I'll have to set out eventually, making up the next route, trusting I will figure it out, that it will emerge, as I go. 

Valley HaggardComment