A Room of One's Own


By the time I arrived at Woodbrooke, it had already been a long traveling day and I was tired.  Between the Metro, Eurostar, walking, train, and bus, I was ready to set my bags down and to rest a while.  So after signing in, a woman brought me upstairs to show me my room.  Walking in behind her, I took a look around and spotting only one bed, became very excited.  A room to myself?  Really?  This was beyond my wildest dreams!  There are truly no words to explain how much this means to me.  I may be an extrovert, but after nearly three weeks of traveling in six countries, some time to myself in private space is exactly what I need.

I want you to know I am extremely grateful to all my hosts, grateful for their kindness, hospitality, and loving grace.  They have been a dear gift I treasure.  But after sharing space for so much time along with dealing with the stress and joys of travel, I love getting to "let my hair down" by myself in my own defined space. 

Upon later exploration, I found a hair dryer which means I get to do my hair up, an extra blanket to cuddle up in, my very own bathroom and shower, a kettle and fixings for tea and hot chocolate, a closet to hang some clothes up instead of always digging in my bag, a desk to write at, a window that opens, and a chair for reading.   Absolute heaven!  I even borrowed a hot water bottle from the Friends in Residence Office, a cherry on top of an already very large ice cream sundae! 

It is also nice to be at this particular conference as it is a writer's conference and I am happy to be with those who share my love of the written word.  I also feel very much a part of this group as this is the fourth meeting I have been a part of and they enjoy having Harriet, another editor of Spirit Rising, and I here as active members.

For those who don't know, Woodbrooke is a Quaker Study Center in Birmingham, England made up of several buildings, the biggest of which is a huge mansion, surrounded by beautiful gardens, a forest, and a lake.  The gardens are a world of their own, a magical place with hidden rooms and paths leading to unexpected delights, the kind of place you would expect to find fairies flying around in the air with the bees.  It is a place of rest and intellectual and spiritual searching and study.  It is just right for me at this time in my journey.  In fact, I have already been able to take the time to write some new poems during a poetry writing workshop this morning.  Oh yes, and the English breakfasts an d tea are delicious.

I tell you this not only to let you know how things are going, but as I have walked this journey, I have developed a passion for helping other traveling ministers by being a voice for them of the joys and the struggles of traveling and speaking.  It is not an easy undertaking and demands far more of the minister than they think they can give.  It also demands a whole new level of self-care, a learning curve of when to push yourself and when to let yourself "off the hook" and go rest. This conference is both a time for me to work on topics I am deeply passionate about and to take the rest I deeply need.  I am immensely grateful for both. 

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Walking the Sea: A Room of One's Own

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Room of One's Own


By the time I arrived at Woodbrooke, it had already been a long traveling day and I was tired.  Between the Metro, Eurostar, walking, train, and bus, I was ready to set my bags down and to rest a while.  So after signing in, a woman brought me upstairs to show me my room.  Walking in behind her, I took a look around and spotting only one bed, became very excited.  A room to myself?  Really?  This was beyond my wildest dreams!  There are truly no words to explain how much this means to me.  I may be an extrovert, but after nearly three weeks of traveling in six countries, some time to myself in private space is exactly what I need.

I want you to know I am extremely grateful to all my hosts, grateful for their kindness, hospitality, and loving grace.  They have been a dear gift I treasure.  But after sharing space for so much time along with dealing with the stress and joys of travel, I love getting to "let my hair down" by myself in my own defined space. 

Upon later exploration, I found a hair dryer which means I get to do my hair up, an extra blanket to cuddle up in, my very own bathroom and shower, a kettle and fixings for tea and hot chocolate, a closet to hang some clothes up instead of always digging in my bag, a desk to write at, a window that opens, and a chair for reading.   Absolute heaven!  I even borrowed a hot water bottle from the Friends in Residence Office, a cherry on top of an already very large ice cream sundae! 

It is also nice to be at this particular conference as it is a writer's conference and I am happy to be with those who share my love of the written word.  I also feel very much a part of this group as this is the fourth meeting I have been a part of and they enjoy having Harriet, another editor of Spirit Rising, and I here as active members.

For those who don't know, Woodbrooke is a Quaker Study Center in Birmingham, England made up of several buildings, the biggest of which is a huge mansion, surrounded by beautiful gardens, a forest, and a lake.  The gardens are a world of their own, a magical place with hidden rooms and paths leading to unexpected delights, the kind of place you would expect to find fairies flying around in the air with the bees.  It is a place of rest and intellectual and spiritual searching and study.  It is just right for me at this time in my journey.  In fact, I have already been able to take the time to write some new poems during a poetry writing workshop this morning.  Oh yes, and the English breakfasts an d tea are delicious.

I tell you this not only to let you know how things are going, but as I have walked this journey, I have developed a passion for helping other traveling ministers by being a voice for them of the joys and the struggles of traveling and speaking.  It is not an easy undertaking and demands far more of the minister than they think they can give.  It also demands a whole new level of self-care, a learning curve of when to push yourself and when to let yourself "off the hook" and go rest. This conference is both a time for me to work on topics I am deeply passionate about and to take the rest I deeply need.  I am immensely grateful for both. 

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1 Comments:

At April 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM , Blogger Robin M. said...

It is very good to learn the limits of your sociability and to find what you need for self care. Say hi to my Friend Charles Martin and everyone at the QUIP conference!

 

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