photos taken by Carrie Whipple McCarthy

I’ve been trying to write this post for several days now.  How do I sum up why Squam Art Workshops is so magical and why I have gone the last 3 years?  Ok the first year I went because I was ‘pressured’ to go but soon fell in love and couldn’t wait to go the next year.  Thank you Christine!

So what is it about SAW that keeps drawing me, and so many others, back every year?

  • The cabins in the woods by the lake with only a wood fireplace to heat them on really cold nights.
  • The long dirt roads that you need a flashlight to navigate at night, unless there is a bright moon to guide you, and where I’ve never felt safer.
  • The homemade waffles for breakfast, and all the other amazing food that the RDC staff makes for breakfast, lunch and dinner too.
  • The open arms that greet you at every turn, from old and new friends.
  • Elizabeth who brought all of this together and keeps making it better and better, and who takes the time to talk to everyone even when you know she’s got a million things to do.
  • The teachers, oh the amazing teachers, who are so encouraging and bring out the best in you, whether its painting or writing or making a ukulele…and learning to play a few notes.
  • Playing a song on a ukulele that you learned earlier in the day, that night at Coffeehouse, and getting a big round of applause.
  • The cabin dance parties (oh maybe that was just our cabin).
  • The heartfelt talks with your cabinmates…and the goofy ones too.
  • The laughter, oh the laughter, and the tears too.
  • Vendor Night…handmade goods and free beer…I mean what’s not to love!
  • Shopping at Wholly Tara (oh that may be just me).

All of these things keep me coming back year after year.  But the thing that makes SAW Magical (at least for me)…I feel seen there.  Seen for who I really am and not what others think I am or should be…but really ME.  And often they see me before I’m able or willing to…it takes me a little longer to embrace it all…but I’m finally there.

This is why I look forward to SAW every September…and why this year I am excited that I get to experience it all again by the Sea in October.  No matter what Elizabeth says, I do think there are unicorns in those woods in New Hampshire…and I believe there will be mermaids by the sea.

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18 Responses to Seen

  1. kelly says:

    sure did miss all of these things this year. but soon.
    our voyage will land on the beaches of obx. how

  2. Meghan says:

    Glad you got this post out, Melissa. I’ve been struggling with putting my experience into words, so I can relate to what you shared here. Thrilled I met you this year and look forward to returning next September. Hope to have more connecting conversations together and be seen by one another. I hope you have a fabulous time By the Sea (have to say I so wish I was going!!).

    • Melissa says:

      It is so hard to accurately capture what Squam means…its a feeling, a look, something almost intangible…so I’m glad I was able to get some of that out, but it was a struggle. So glad I got to meet you and hopefully we will keep connecting until we can actually ‘see’ each other in person again. Much love…xo

  3. Grace says:

    This made me cry. There is a magic there. I think that’s why so many intend to write about it and then just can’t find the words.
    You are in my heart forever.
    Thank you sweet soul sister.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I just squealed when I read that you were going to be by the sea. 🙂 I did not make it to new hampshire this year but I will be hanging out with the mermaids by the sea. squam really is a place where you are able to be seen for exactly who you are, and that is an incredible blessing. I have never felt more comfortable and confidant in being me as I do when I am at squam. And the magical this is that bleeds out into everyday life. I am so happy that swirly dragged you along the first year and that you were able to soak in all the juicyness that has you now coming back year after year. see you by the sea dear girl.

  5. darlene says:

    oh yes … i so missed not being there this year for every one of those reasons … you brought it all back so beautifully!! xox

  6. Swirly says:

    I see you and YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

  7. Thea says:

    oh shivers because this resonates with me so well. I can say ditto!

    Love you

  8. mccabe says:

    i see you, too.

  9. Liz says:

    and may I say it’s also because you allow yourself to be seen… and such a beautiful thing that is… missing you, and wishing you an Awesome time in October… xoxo

  10. jen gray says:

    how could anyone NOT see you ?!you are on beautiful creative loving funny wise sexy sweet strong
    soulful hottie gal!!!
    and i love you forever

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