this past weekend i retreated down to the banks of the french broad river, to soak in hot springs and nestle myself in the familiar landscape of my childhood home. i guess that to some folks there is not much noticeable difference between the blue ridge mountains of the tennessee/north carolina boarder and the cumberlands of kentucky or the clinch mountains of virginia. but i certainly can tell the difference - with every sense in my body.
it's been nearly a decade since i first started the ritual of retreating to hot springs for my birthday. each year i have retreated with a small group of my closest friends, and we have enjoyed a few days of pure, deliberate relaxation. this year was one of the best hot springs weekends ever, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
i have never been an incredibly social person. i would actually classify myself as socially awkward. i do really well at networking and being a hostess, but when it comes down to friendships, i am much better at connecting to individual people rather than a group. most of my life i have had an eclectic mix of close friends who, for the most part, don't really know each other. and one of my favorite things in life are those moments when i bring those people together. hot springs was just that this year.
and what was even more special was that i got to see my friends AND family enjoying each other's company over wonderful food, music and mountains. bella got permission to stay at the cabin and the folks also came up and stayed in their own little cabin down the path.
i know i still have a lot to get through and some tough decisions to make, but for now, i am enjoying the "hangover" of a truly blissful, relaxing weekend.