And so, last Tuesday I packed the car with knitting, spinning, and drawing supplies, and drove northward. I spent the night in Amherst, as I always do, and on Wednesday morning started the second leg of the journey. As I turned onto Squam Lake Drive, I turned off the music, rolled down the windows, and inhaled the pine-scented air. I arrived and could feel my heart and soul begin to shift, to awaken and open to what the week would hold.
After moving into my cabin, I returned to Greenwood Lodge to help Kaitlyn and the other Squam Angels with registration. It's such a joy to see everyone as they arrive and more of a joy to make them feel welcome. With each new arrival, it felt like the smile on my face was getting bigger and bigger, until it felt like my face would split in two.
The Squam energy is different every year. This was my fourth Spring Squam and this year, it felt more relaxed, more familiar, and surprisingly, less introspective. It was easier to arrive, to sink in, to be. My cabin mates were very laid back, and the evenings were spent in quiet conversation, knitting and spinning by the fire. The yarn bombings were spectacular, showing up in the most unlikely places. The projects on the In Process table were stunning in their beauty and creativity.
I opted to take Amy Gretchen's Narrative Truth to help improve the quality of my photography. I'm so glad I did! Amy's photography is full of mood and emotion and she shared tips and techniques so that we could start working on adding mood and emotion to our photographs.
My second class was Estonian Lace Knitting, taught by Nancy Bush. I was thrilled that I understood all the techniques and was particularly thrilled that creating nupps is not difficult at all (as long as you keep the working yarn very loose). The love that Nancy has for Estonia and particularly for the Estonian knitting traditions is so strong and so bright. So much so that I'm inspired to write a story about the women in a photograph in her book, Knitted Lace of Estonia. I'm intrigued by the faces of the women; each one has so much character and yet is so different from the others. What are their stories? Why does one look so stern, while another looks gleeful? I have so much to learn about Estonia and hope that my story can honor them.
Squam's magic this year was awakening my slumbering creativity. It stretched the limits of my photography and surprised me with an idea for a story. The supportive and loving environment whispers to the heart "Yes, you can do this!" And we fly.