We returned from Camp Mather this past Saturday, having enjoyed a wonderful week surrounded by nature and good friends, and free of such distractions as TV, phones, and the internet. The weather wasn't great, cloudy with a couple of thunderstorms thrown in, one especially spectacular clap of thunder that's still reverberating through me.
We didn't sight bears, and several times confused a burro's braying with bear roars, but we did enjoy amazing wildflowers, deer, and some of the most gorgeous birds and butterflies I've ever seen.
I didn't write the entire week, not a word. It was the longest break I've taken from writing in a very long time. Usually I write every day. I can't say I felt I missed the writing, we were just too busy being a family and hanging out with friends, but I did notice I became a little cranky and depressed toward the end of the week, and suspect it was because I wasn't writing. I can't help wondering how long more I could have lasted until I felt I HAD to write ...
I did read a lot, finishing Junot Diaz's brilliant The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and getting half-way through Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge, a very different breed of book, a novel in stories actually, but almost as equally good a read.
I'm at work now on another short story, the seeds of which came to me while I was walking the beach yesterday morning. As great as the week in Camp Mather was, and as much as I loved spending that much time in such hallowed surroundings with my family and friends, I'm grateful to be back home; grateful to be back writing; grateful for so many incredible writers in the world that gift us with such great books as mentioned above; and mostly I'm just grateful to have so much to be grateful for.