Friday, July 24 started out cloudy, cold and rainy in Crested Butte...and our retreat began just as the sky started to clear. Melissa Mason and Ivy Walker (organizers of the event) welcomed each participant and the retreat was underway! We were all struck with the fact that we shared recent losses (the participants, the organizers and me) and love and support filled our space. Saturday we were so lucky to be invited to work at the home of Shelly Lockwood! What a magnificent location and welcoming environment. We spent the day working there and enjoyed the wide open, sunny spaces as well as lots of quiet time to explore new sketching and painting skills. We then had some time to explore the town on our own before meeting back at our "home base". Dessert and chair massages, ahhhhh....doesn't get more pampering! Sunday morning we met early and had the honor of listening to Ivy Walker share her art process. She is riveting and left us with many gems to ponder. Then we got to work on our journals and map collages. The day flew by! We wrapped up our time together (after a fantastic catered lunch), evaluated the experience and shared our "take-aways". For me, this was a different retreat experience. With just 4 participants we had plenty of relaxed time to share, reflect and grow closer as women facing loss and healing. It was a deeply moving experience and one I will treasure. Thank you to Melissa and Ivy, Paula, Lisa, Darcy and Cory (and Shelly and the caterer and the lodging partners!).