The First Creative Juice (Girls Only) Retreat

What did we do at our creative juice girls-retreat?

We Marveled. We stayed at a small farm house in Adams County, nestled in a bucolic setting at the foothills of the rocky mountains in eastern Ohio. We saw our moonshadows created by the full moon. We took walks on the property, stopping and lingering as long as we wanted every time we saw something remarkable. With no agenda, no time restrictions, no clients, and no responsibilities we could truly marvel over every bit of nature we found. We admired the pattern within the seeds in a milk weed pod. Vanessa could photograph every rusty thing we saw. We could listen to the birds in the sky and in the grasses and see the blue, blue sky. We felt the electricity on our cheeks under the power lines. We dug in the fossil beds of ancient seas now exposed in the crust of the ridgeline. We peered into every sink hole and wondered what kind of clever animal would shelter within the daggers growing on the locust trees. We collected the sumac berries atop the barren branches. Lisa coveted the empty turtle shell and I dragged home the rusty old barrel lid for a photo backdrop. It was like being a child with no parent to hurry us along. Or a parent with no child to tend to. Or creative work with no deadlines.

We made some artsy stuff Lisa taught us how to make her aluminum necklaces. We colored in the mandala coloring book with miniature pencils. Vanessa brought smooth rocks to paint with acrylics or Sharpie markers. Vanessa and Lisa set up photoshoots of our nature findings while I napped. We read books and magazines. Christina and I sat in the frosty cold morning with hot mugs of tea and coffee and watched the sun rise while she watercolor painted and I embroidered on my latest needlecraft project.

We Ate Whatever Was In The Refrigerator We devoured Lisa’s artichoke dip with Wheat Thins. We drank several bottles of red wine and pinot grigio not caring if it was only 4:30 pm. Lisa made a fire with the help of some lighter fluid and we all ate toasted marshmallows before dinner. We made spiral pasta with bacon and ate Ghiradelli chocolates. We feasted on pancakes and baked apples and coffee. We lunched on pickles and lunch meat and cheese. Vanessa had not one, but two miniature cans of Pepsi.

We Found Joy We took great leaps onto the saucer swing and flew over the murky pond. We laughed mercilessly at ourselves and Vanessa confessed what she did at Girl Scout Camp. We asked metaphysical questions, told ghost stories, tried to interpret dreams, and discussed our secret passions. We traded book titles and reminded ourselves of old movies we loved. We shared business advice, helped make plans and offered advice. We let the brown dog snuggle with us and fed him bacon grease and leftover pancakes.

The next retreat will include the Creative Juice boys as well. Who's in?

All photos taken by Vanessa Sorensen. Read her retreat thoughts here. More of Christina Wald's sketches are here.

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