In April, the Dirty Girls took some time to Get Away and enjoy a Dirty Girls Weekend. We traveled to the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City (beautiful and comfortable) for some time to pamper ourselves and to spend quality time together.
We couldn’t just relax inside the whole time so we also spent the day exploring Indian Cave State Park. It is a gorgeous park with great hiking trails. Spring brought lush green foliage to the trail which, against all odds, was uphill both ways!
We enjoyed the weekend together both on the trail and at the lodge. It was a good time to cultivate both “me” time and our relationships with old friends and new.
We were joined by poet and actress, Annette Hope Billings, on Saturday evening. She shared some of her poetry with us and then led us in discussion of our experience. This was an insightful experience and it resulted in a wonderful poem written by our entire group. It was an intense experience to be part of sharing thoughts and feelings that we often hold close to our hearts and leave unsaid. We love Annette and hope that you will visit her website to learn more about her work.
We have been busy kayaking and hiking so this story seems belated but it was a WONDERFUL weekend and we loved every minute of it! We believe that the pictures and the fruit or our labors (this poem Annette so skillfully pulled out of us) tells the true story of our time together!
The Path To Be Free
We began our journey in a world of green
turned lush like velvet beneath a covering of clouds.
We entered a wilderness as sacred as a church,
where our hymns became the songs of frogs,
and choruses of raindrops falling on a canopy of leaves
and the fluttering wings of startle birds.
We walked in worship there
where the sheer absence of sound
brought us to a place of peace.
We marveled at the contrast of intentionally-burned stumps
that served to brighten the green of thriving trees.
We walked on in our snowless globe of mist
where even the struggle of steep, muddy climbs
was no match for our resilience.
The expected downpour kept at bay,
we hiked paths that were like our lives.
Some began straight, then turned into curves
and easy valleys morphed to difficult hills.
We stepped back into long-forgotten boxes of childhood
where being outside was our second home.
Our eyes took in the gifts of Paw-Paw trees
and watched Jack-in-the-Pulpit preach as we walked by.
We took in the lessons the Mighty Mo taught us—
that swift currents of life can steal our control,
and precious is the time we make for ourselves
and golden are the memories of hearts lit with laughter.
We take home the gifts of time spent with amazing women,
and the powerful synergy of achieving a common goal,
and pictures that capture bonds strengthened with old friends
along with connections made between friends who are new.
We will return to lives that will tend to confine us,
but now we have Dirty Girl knowledge of the path to be free.
Annette Hope Billings and The Dirty Girls of the 2016
Indian Cave State Park Hike and Lied Lodge Adventure