Every October I drive to the mountains with a group of women friends for a weekend retreat. Signing Woman’s family has a beautiful camp on a lake, and they generously let us use the place. Nine women came this year, bringing with us more food than nine women could possible eat in just a few days. When we arrived at the beautiful old house we were to stay in, we found a bra hanging on a hook by the back door. We took that as a good sign.
Soup is my favorite thing to eat on a cool fall weekend, and my friends know that. They came carrying pots of homemade soup. We had pumpkin-garlic soup, black bean-kale soup, potato-leek soup, squash-with-carrots soup, split pea soup, and several kinds of chili. I ate soup for breakfast, soup for snack, soup for every meal. I always say that I can never get enough soup, but I admit that this weekend, I may have come close.
We spend hours talking by the fire, walking along the lake, and admiring the fall foliage. Saturday night, Long Beautiful Hair cranked up the music, and we danced, sliding around on the hardwood floors in our socks. The next day, we walked to a labyrinth to spend some time in quiet contemplation. When the sun came out, we went skinny dipping in the lake and took naked photos. We played cards by the fire, sang songs, drank cup after cup of hot tea, and held a ceremonial burning of a hydrangea wreath. All in all, a perfect weekend.