Songbirds in the Wilderness

Last season, we arrived at Crooked Creek Retreat and were greeted by a dead crow down by the root cellar. The fallen oak leaves cradled it in their newly-formed nest. What would this weekend hold for us, a few women, unknown to one another, in the middle of the woods!?

So of course, a few women took it as inspiration for a song. A country song? Featuring a banjo, perhaps? Ah, these ladies! This was going to be good.

One year later, we have come together again- and not that we were exclusive, but the group had been defined, or rather, we had defined our group. Everyone wanted to return again and everyone welcomed an additional evening to be together. Only one new brave soul joined the fray and was truly the perfect addition to our posse. Warm November sun blessed our days and the weather was perfect for long nights in front of the fire. We even celebrated a birthday or two with expired sparklers (yes, they are a fire hazard and yes, we were not careful).


Vibrant ladies donning vibrant threads kept the deer hunters at bay on our walks through the fields. We took time to weave memories of our own in this space, honing in on songs we took as inspiration, experimenting with sounds and utilizing prompt words to create new works of art.


Red Clogs seize the day.


My prompt word: Fields. Another: Favorite Kind.

More time to write, to focus and to bond- all good things. All things we want to make happen every time we come to this place.

This won’t be the last we hear of what we affectionately call,  “The Songbirds.”

Yes, that is the banjo...

Yes, that is the banjo…



  1. Helen on December 5, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Lovely. You made it all wonderfully come back to me.

    • Naomi Zupfer on December 5, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      Thank you for coming back to us. It means a lot to me- and to the formation of this retreat, Helen.

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