I just returned from the amazing annual Songwriters Retreat hosted by John D. Lamb in Lake Leelanau, a much needed reset for me. I had signed up late and was told the weekend was sold out. WHAT? Never expected that. Somehow I hadn’t heard the news. The location was new for the retreat and not able to accommodate so many. We discussed the possibility of me getting my own place nearby and still participating so I found something about 10 minutes away. The thought of missing the retreat was not a pleasant one and motivated me to make necessary adaptations to be there. I could feel my determination driving me in spite of the stress I felt in so many changes. I needed this. Whatever it takes I told myself. I let him know and he registered me, then later informed me that he found another possibility…right down the road from the retreat being held at the Jolli-Lodge. Only a short car ride to and from each day. Things kept getting better! 

Thursday night I arrived after checking in down the road at the Snowbird Inn, not even knowing I had passed the Jolli-Lodge along the way! I checked in to my lovely room with my own bathroom (Things kept getting better!) and headed over to the Lodge. I had no idea the big lake was just outside our picture window beyond the porch of our designated meeting place. It was pitch black. I could hear waves and feel the wind but hadn’t seen the landscape (the picture above) until the next morning when I returned and saw the view. WOW! I was blown away. Things just kept getting better! Oh AND there was a baby grand piano! Usually there are only a few of us piano players and would use a keyboard. Like I said - keeps getting better! 

This was my 5th time attending and I knew first hand about the magic that happens no matter where its held. That come Sunday morning everyone would share the new song they wrote from one of John’s song prompt assignments. He invites musicians from all over to be on staff, to offer us enrichment, encouragement, humor throughout the weekend as well as some tears based on the stories their songs had to tell, taking us on musical journeys. They are also given song prompts. Sometimes we are given things we can relate to and sometimes challenging prompts that make it hard to write a song from. And what I know is that this group of musicians will rise to the occasion. We take on this challenge and find ourselves out of our comfort zone only to come back stronger from the experience. This experience was and is always invaluable to me… to realize we’re amongst so many talented musicians that all share the same passion for music was just the “reboot” I needed.

Thank you John Lamb and I thank myself for following my heart and doing what it took to get there!

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