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The Garden Muse Outside at the Berkshire Writers Haven

by Lisa Avnet

I gave my "Courting the Muse" workshop down in New Haven last weekend  for a wonderful group of women and am still smileing.  Introducing people to the benefits of hypnosis just fills me with joy. It's such a gift to see eyes light up and the excitement people feel when they feel and  see the difference in their writing.  Luckily it rained that day, which made being inside way more fun.

We're planning an Open House event here at the Berkshire Writer's Haven for area writers to come visit.  As part of the Open House I'll be offering a group class to introduce my hypnosis work.  If you Like our Facebook or Instagram pages, you'll get automatic get updates on the timing.  Right now the date is TBA;  the gardens should be showing some real glory by early June so that's the target.  If you can't wait, call us and set up a time for a visit.

Speaking of the gardens, all the photos on our website are  on our property - a lush 3 acres that includes fruit trees, berry bushes, and wild areas that provides inspiration year round.  The jewel of the property, though, is the Japanese style garden you can see on our welcome page banner, designed by my sister in law Judy who runs the Old Farms Nursery in Lakeville, CT and installed about 20 years ago.  It's stunningly beautiful and has generated a lot of writing and conversation over the years.

Nature is a beguiling Muse - inspiring many of my favorite poets, particularly Mary Oliver.  The rhythm of the lush summer plants giving way to less colorful autumn plants, and then finally the monochromatic bare bones of the stones and grasses in winter, and then the blossoming of spring means there's always something to see and write about.  


The above photo is a rare sight- the stone river only flow when the ground is frozen and we get heavy rain. Then it flows down to the left with little ice waterfall-ettes sometimes too. 

Sitting and writing in the sunporch looking out at the gardens is one of the pleasures of winter at the Haven.

Earth and the beauty of the natural world is the first and longest lasting Muse of all My earliest memory from when I was about 3 years old, is squatting on the sidewalk outside our apartment complex, marveling at every detail of the flowers pushing up through the cracks: dandelions.  I can still smell that tangy odor that got on my hands from the milky juice in the stems when I picked it.

What's your first happy memory of being outside?  Did you have a special flower or tree?  Write about it for 10 minutes.  Be that child, and imagine, sense and feel that moment.

I'm waiting and watching as each shoot begins peeking up out of the ground.  The snowdrops and pink hellebore are blossoming, the magnolia tree and the daffodils should come out on the next warm and sunny day.  I can't wait!!  The weeds and the gardening chores will follow on their heels, but that's another Haven story!