Gratitude & discovery/ by Debbie Brosten

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It’s around 10 and we’ve done yoga with Nancy leading us on a stone patio where we look out on the vineyards in the hills, where we breathe in the fresh Tuscan air and wake our bodies slowly and luxuriously.

Breakfast, too, is done. One which we as a group have chosen to eat in silence. A buffet overflowing with fresh fruit, bread and croissants, sliced meats and cheeses, and always fresh cucumber slices and whole red tomatoes. Yogurt and granola, butter and jam, country fresh hard boiled eggs in their brown speckled shells await us along with juices and coffee and tea. The possibility of leaving hungry disappears, along with the rest of our cares.

We carry the silence into our free time before the first writing session of the day. A time to continue the introspection begun in yoga, enhanced by the setting.  I breathe in “I am” before exhaling “here now.”

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Dulcie apologizes to the virgin writing retreat members for now having the expectation of this amazing villa, estate, trattoria to live up to, but I think she is being harsh. For me the magic of the writing retreat is the words silently written only to later come alive as they are read aloud in voices confident and sure or tremulous and tentative. Hearts are splayed open before our fellow writers as we intuitively trust the people who have entered our lives so deeply, so quickly. Strangers really, but not. Kindred spirits who we hadn’t chanced to meet earlier.

I am so grateful to be here, to have a life which allows for the possibility of greatness – of openness, of digging ever deeper, plunging down the rabbit hole, tossing aside long misused protective layers as I continue my search to uncover me – my authentic self. A self who is strengthened and honed can then stand strong on the Earth to open to your needs, and more importantly, your love.

September 16, 2014

                                                Voltrona, San Gimignano, Tuscany

Debbie Brosten relocated to Bellingham after retiring from a career in education. She delights in the serendipity of life as she fills her days with travel, writing, friends, and laughter. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies including; Whatcom Writes, Give Yourself Permission, Memory into Memoir and Unmasked: Women Write about Sex and Intimacy After Fifty. Wide Open Writing Tuscany 2018 registration is now open. Check our "Retreats" page for more information.

Debbie Brosten relocated to Bellingham after retiring from a career in education. She delights in the serendipity of life as she fills her days with travel, writing, friends, and laughter. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies including; Whatcom Writes, Give Yourself Permission, Memory into Memoir and Unmasked: Women Write about Sex and Intimacy After Fifty.

Wide Open Writing Tuscany 2018 registration is now open. Check our "Retreats" page for more information.