on tuscany.

When I sat down to write this post I got up and 'checked things off my list' three times. I went in the studio and processed a bucket of dahlias, I loaded the dishwasher, I answered some work e-mail from my phone in the kitchen while slamming a coconut LaCroix. 

The only excuse I have is because I don't even know where to begin about Tuscany and my time spent there. And a part of me feels like when I write about it, and share about it, it'll somehow all be tucked away and forgotten about. 

But I'm determined to not let that happen. So here goes. 

I spent 6 full days and 7 nights at a tuscan farmhouse last week. "Wide Open Writing" is a creative writing retreat aimed at helping anyone who loves words to find an easier and more authentic way of putting them together. No, thats not a mission statement but that was my mission statement. 

I'll admit I was hesitant, before I left I would never consider this blog truly 'writing' and although I write plenty for work, I wasn't calling myself a writer. I was a florist who is a tv reporter who writes a blog on occasion who loves wine and puppies. Today I'm a florist who is a tv reporter and a writer who loves wine and puppies. 

They say people make a place, and the women I surrounded myself with, laughed with, cried with & created with were some of the most beautiful souls I've stumbled across. We came together from the states, the Netherlands, Sydney, Toronto and London all with a love of the written word.

I would never have taken the plunge if it wasn't for mom. She's releasing a book next May and is a fiction writer. (Shameless plug) and asked if I wanted to go, and then told me I was going and we were going to be roomies. The time spent with her, just her, is something I'll cherish for the rest of my life. 

Each day, morning yoga woke me up as the sun rose over fields of olive trees. Each afternoon 3 hour lunches and pool time provided the best form of unwinding. And each evening, laughing so hard I cry at a long farmhouse table with homemade italian food and vino. A morning and afternoon writing session were my favorite parts, where we would write and share. 

The trees, the air, the sun, the breeze, it was all intoxicating. I've never really understood the term 'high on life' until my week in Tuscany. 

But the best part about this time? Was the confined freedom. The farm we all lived at was remote, and looked like the backdrop of a movie set. We spent our days safely tucked away from the real world, and there, in that safe space we were able to grow, unfold & process all the junk we carry daily. 

Afterward I travelled with my mom and sister for a few more days before I flew home. I've got a LOT to write about on this trip, and for some reason as I sit here at my computer I'm at a loss for words. (if you know me, you know how rare this is!) It seems as though my time with this group and in this place has rocked me at my core in such a way that it cannot be explained. 

Go do something that scares you. And go do something you think you can't do. And go out on that limb. And while you're there, in that space, don't forget that feeling. 


PS enjoy these snaps from our retreat. Just seeing the group photo makes my heart soar. Photo Credit is to the amazing Jessica 

Kalin SheickComment