Every quarter I go on retreat. Actually, it's more like going to camp. I get together with women friends, who are also creatives, and we rent a place for a week or 10 days to spend together. Typically we are silent until lunch and between lunch and dinner so that we can work on our various projects: writing, painting, reading, resting, communing with nature, sleeping. We share meals and play games and talk in the evenings.
Because I live alone, these retreats are an important part of my social life and a chance to be in community and when I come home, it's a mixed blessing. I'm almost always ready for more solitude, as I thrive on it. But I also miss the loving friendship and seeing good friends every day rather than a couple of times a month. There's also a high that comes from these intense experiences of creativity all day long and the deep conversations we have so I often experience a post-retreat letdown.
It's day 3 since I returned and I'm pretty down today. It's a passing experience, of course, and probably tomorrow I'll be fine. But I miss the spaciousness of the experience and the proximity of the gorgeous beach at Cape Lookout State Park.