HFH: Out of the Woods and Into the Forest

When I woke the next morning and saw that deep blue sky through the pine boughs, I felt like this spider web that my mind had spun around my heart had been cleared away.

Aya and Dr. J were right! I had to let Elder know how I felt. This is my life we’re talking about, not some game!

Before my mind had a chance to wake up and start spinning again, I pulled out my smart phone, said a grateful prayer for Internet hot spots, and emailed a quick message.

Cathy Tea

Don’t over think it. Just send it!


I’ve been keeping something to myself because I thought it was the right thing to do, but now I’m not so sure, since keeping it to myself sort of keeps me prisoner in it. So I want to share this with you. I hope it’s ok for me to.

I’ve been in love with you since I first saw you with that lump of clay in your hands in Dr. J’s living room. Also, I love you, in addition to being in love with you.

That’s all I wanted to say, except for also, enjoy the sun and the poppies and the desert air and the moon and the mountains ringing that valley where you are.



I hit send.

Cathy Tea

Send it quick, before I think twice! Ok. It’s sent!

And, I was free!

All while cooking up breakfast, no worrying thoughts raced through my brain!

Cathy Tea

Mmmm! Cobbler smells divine!

Over breakfast, I made a promise to myself just to let that message go and not to second-guess myself or second-guess Elder or I’d be wrapped up in webby thoughts again.

Cathy Tea

Be kind to yourself. No toxic thoughts.

Instead, I promised to say to myself what I’d say to a good friend who was in my situation. What would I say to Emma, for example?

“Good job! You shared your feelings! You were brave! You put it out there! You live to be loved and to love freely, too! Now enjoy your day!”

And enjoy our day we did!

We watched birds.


“Look! It’s a ruby-crowned kinglet!”

Forrest fished.


A man and his fishing pole.

We hung out by the fire.

Camp fire

Music by fire.

Forrest made a new friend.


“You got any more of that?”

We roasted tofu dogs.


“Hey! I guess we’re all vegetarians!”

And in the evening, we hosted a wienie roast party at our campground!


Wish our hotdog friend from our childhood were here in his hotdog costume!

Turns out tons of our neighbors and friends from home were here on vacation, too, plus we’d made a lot of new friends. It was so fun to tell stories, make s’mores, play cards, and just hang out together.

What a perfect final day of vacation.

When we finally got home, we were so relaxed and content.


It feels great to be home!

And I feel, even if I was foolish, for who’s not foolish in love?, I was brave, and I was, for once, honest. And that’s not a bad result from an outdoor retreat.