We’re off to be children with cooking skills again this weekend. My school girls, the 7 sisters, and I are getting together to play in the water and hang in the country and roast marshmallows. Okay, not extreme cooking skills. Above is an image from a midnight hayride from long ago.
We’ve done this now for several years. It might only happen a few times a year because everyone is so busy. Each time, the return feels a little unreal, like the weekend must have not happened because it’s impossible to leave that many responsibilities, troubles, guilt, etc. behind.
That’s what it’s all about. It’s about dropping that stuff by the side of the road on the way out. It will wait there for you to pick it back up again. It’s about opening your heart up for a weekend, about accepting and being accepted for exactly who you are and who you are together.
The first evening we eat too much, drink a bit too much, stay up too late, talk about stuff that would shock your mothers, dance, sing, tell stories and catch up. It’s all about settling in. We find our sleeping spots and make our nests.
When we wake the next morning, usually later than we normally sleep, we have truly arrived. We are fully present. This is often the time that we head for the grocery store to see if there is a new or much-loved flavor of chip that we must add to the collection. We spend the rest of the day in the outdoors, swimming in the summer, walking in the not summer and of course, eating and drinking and lounging and talking.
Then there’s cocktail hour, which usually lasts into the darkness even on long summer days, followed by a creative dinner made of all the treats that each woman has brought. . . okay, overbrought. There are candles and flowers on the table. There’s a lot of talk about staying until the food is eaten, but that would usually mean a week, not the precious weekend that we all have. The evening is a repeat of the first one, but slower. Bedtime often comes earlier.
The final day, we are slowed down to a shared pace. Breakfast is late and luxurious, while we all clean and sort to prepare first to leave the location better than when we got there and then to leave.
I continue to suspend real time on the ride home, already reminscing about the event and planning four or five fantasy events although I know every date will pass before we can actually all coordinate our times to be together again.