This weekend, when I threw open the door, the air smelled of rich, dank earth. Out in our long-neglected yard, a few crocuses have poked through soggy ground with their yellow and purple lanterns, and it feels like spring actually might arrive. In other parts of the country it may be snowing, but here in the Pacific Northwest, the air feels lighter and the days are, too. It’s March and the days stretch perceptibly longer as we march toward the equinox. I love March for leading us into spring—the first delicate antlers of daffodils and tulips appear (not to mention that it’s the month for both Brenda’s and my birthdays, just a week apart!)
March also makes me dream of Alaska.
Back in my fishing days, we’d head north in March for the herring season, starting in Sitka, then Prince William Sound, then follow the coastline north and west to Togiak in the Bering Sea as the days stretched longer, chasing the silver glint and swirl of vast schools of herring.
I didn’t get to Alaska last summer for the first time in thirty seasons. I missed it deeply and am glad to be going north again this June. I’ll be teaching at the Kachemak Bay Writing Conference in Homer, Alaska from June 13 – 17, then teaching a Pen & Bell Workshop at the Stillpoint Lodge in Halibut Cove from June 26 – 29. If you’ve long dreamed of visiting Alaska, you might consider one of these workshops.
The Kachemak Bay Writing Conference features a wonderful slate of writers, among them Alice Sebold, Scott Russell Sanders, and Marjorie Sandor, as well as Alaskan writers Peggy Shumaker, Sherry Simpson, Nancy Lord and Eva Saulitis.
I’ll also be teaching a Pen & The Bell Workshop at the Stillpoint Lodge, a wilderness eco-lodge in stunning Halibut Cove, just across the bay from Homer. Our days there will be devoted to interweaving short writing practices with mindfulness practice, alternating sitting and walking meditation with easy yoga stretches and Qi Gong. In between you’ll have time to hike, kayak and explore the art galleries along the boardwalk in Halibut Cove. Meals will feature healthy, seasonal, local food from the lodge’s organic garden and locally caught seafood.
For more information on my workshop and to register, click here.
Feel free to email me via the contact button if you have questions about the Pen & Bell workshop.
Hope to see you in Alaska!