This past weekend was supposed to be one thing that we had been planning for nearly a year, and instead it was an altogether different thing, and it was all good. Imagine that.
Dear friends C and P were getting married in Chicago on Saturday. It went without saying that we would be there. We’d planned to arrive a couple of days early, visit with people we hadn’t seen in two and a half years, eat at our favorite restaurants, do all our favorite Chicago things . . . We’re not big on advance planning, and those days had been circled on the calendar for something like ten months.
But then life things happened. We had sick animals. We didn’t go.
I felt sad and guilty and like we’d made the right decision all at the same time. When it occurred to me that being in town meant I could make at least one day of the Knotty Ladies Fiber Retreat, I first felt happy but then guilty again. It seemed bad to do something fun if the fun thing wasn’t C and P’s wedding. There was all kinds of angst and ambivalence. But then the weekend came. We took care of Blade and Eudora. I drove up to the retreat for a few hours on Saturday. We spent Sunday soaking up the gorgeous fall weather. C and P got hitched without us and according to all reports are well on their way to living happily ever after. When will I learn? It’s all good.
So . . . the fall weather:
It’s almost too much to bear it’s so beautiful. Every single day has been blue, blue, impossibly blue skies, crisp air, changing leaves . . . so pretty it hurts.
And though I don’t have many pictures to show it, the Knotty Ladies Retreat was equally perfectly wonderful. This year, it was on top of Roan Mountain. The guests all stayed in cabins and hung out during the day at the conference center, complete with roaring fire in the giant fireplace, lots and lots of laughter, knitting, spinning, visiting, learning, eating, relaxing . . . again, almost too much to bear in its just-rightness.
My friend Cari is responsible for this. Cari deserves a dedicated post, but since trying to do her justice feels all but impossible at the moment, I’ll just say here that she is a force. She and her husband, J, moved to this area shortly before we did. It was a conscious decision to follow a path they’d chosen for themselves. And one day at a time, one small step after another, they began to build the life they’d dreamed. And beyond that, Cari began to pull together a community of knitters and spinners and shepherds and weavers and dyers . . . from what used to be a bunch of individuals.
She does this thing where she sets her sights on something good, something big—like the Knotty Ladies retreat, like literally wrapping her entire town in a knitted scarf to support cancer patients and their families and friends. She’s so convinced the thing can happen that she convinces other people. Before long, one dedicated, creative, committed person at a time, she’s built a community. Suddenly you have a bunch of amazing individuals putting their talents toward the thing Cari saw. And before you know it, that thing is real.
I saw where one friend recently posted to Cari on Facebook: “Look what you have manifested.” Indeed.
This is Cari:
This is Cari:
And so much more.
It’s all good. Especially with people like Cari in the world.
One more . . . It’s important. This is Cari too.