Friday, July 25, 2014

Retreat and re-emergence

For the past decade or so Kevin and I co-taught a storytelling workshop in the Adirondack mountains with our friend Marni Gillard. It was wonderful, a chance to connect with nature, story and each other. This year I co-taught only with Marni, missing Kevin intensely the entire time. I could see him in each corner and yearned for him ferociously. It was very hard. It was also very good to return to work. To remember that I am a good teacher. That story has meaning to me and creates meaning for all of us.

I stayed on for Women's Writing Week, a retreat full of brilliant women, good classes and thoughtful language. I've written about this retreat before, but this year was different. I spent a lot of time writing, dreaming, crying and being held in community. It helped at the same time that it hurt, reminding me that I am coming home to an empty house.

On the next to the last day we found a luna moth, clinging to a lamp post. My friend Phillip sent this to me, on the symbolism of the luna moth. "They are born, they transform, they love, they die, and then are again reborn. Their cycles are short, as are our years while we are here. We are reminded to make the most of our moments and to live and love to the fullest." A new story, a new piece of meaning to add to this time in my life. Emergence, even for just a day or so.

So it is.

I am going home from the mountains to an empty house. I am heartbroken. And in that loss I am reminded over and over of the love. Always the love. The love between me and Kevin that will never cease. The love I felt from all my friends at the retreat. The love I feel for the world, in spite of my brokenness. I am reminded that we are born, live, die and continue, in love.

And in the end
the love you make
is equal to the love
you take.

 (17 weeks. I miss you with all my heart. I will continue to look for you in moths, in the light reflected  on water, in my dreams, in every breeze. I love you.)

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. We love you too, Laura. Knowing it's not a substitute, and knowing you know, but it still needs to be said.

    I think I need to get to at least one of these retreats. Maybe next year.

    1. Thank you Paula. It isn't a substitute but it's no less precious.

  2. How do we do we get info on these retreats?


    1. go to and keep an eye on the schedule. Once we know dates for next year it will be posted and you can register there.


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