100 Books Project :: Squam Art Workshops

[Book #26 :: Squam Art Workshops, September 16, 2009]

Before everyone arrived at Squam Art Workshops, I took two books and left them in two cozy spots, but only after first handing over Book #26 to Book Fairy Liz Kalloch, who tucked it above one of the entrance to the playhouse, shown above.

[Book #27 :: Squam Art Workshops, September 16, 2009]

Book #27 was left near the registration cabin nestled by a rock, and Book #28 was left on a bench near the water, the same bench I spent time on the year before on the first day of the very first Squam Art Workshops event:

[Book #28 :: Squam Art Workshops, September 16, 2009]

Within 24 hours all three books had been found, and it was such a treat to hear the stories of discovery right away.  Book #26 was discovered by Rebecca Self, who I had a few lovely chats with throughout the weekend, and Stefanie Renee found Book #27.  This is Stefanie's story:

"Imagine a woman leaving for camp for the first time, leaving her husband and 2 kids and jetting off to the East Coast to be alone - a bit intimidated, scared but overall excited!

I meet up with my magical, so sweet and a bit sarcastic cab/van driver Leo in Boston and meet a woman named Emme for the first time.  We both are coming from the west coast and leaving family behind to begin this adventure we deserve!  A lovely drive up to Squam with some laughter, sharing, sight seeing and breakfast to be had.

Some tingles in the stomach once we get closer...about who I will be seeing, who I will be meeting and the overall experience.

We drive in and we get settled, all while still feeling a bit out of it and totally awed by the beauty of this magical place.

Once showered and feeling a bit normal Emme and I head over to Long house where we sit and watch others arrive.  Needing to go outside and explore the area a bit, I venture out to the woods, to the dock, to really ground myself in what is about to happen here over the next few days.

I feel better, and begin to walk back up to my cabin - Ondawa - and what do I see perched next to a nearby rock but a brown bag with 'This is a gift for YOU'.

OOOOH I KNOW what this is!

I snatch it up and run back to my cabin, tear into it and flip through...savoring the images, the words, the perfect moment that this is.  I admit that I already had this book but for some reason seeing this again in paperback it all seems so new, a new message is here for me I think.

I want to curl up and savor it but I need to run out, so I tuck it under my things and I think about it...off and on through out my next few days.

Once on the airplane I take it out and re-read the entire thing from cover to cover.  I relish in my whole Squam experience, I relish this book and all that it stands for and I relish in my being brave.

Thank you Christine for giving me this gift when I needed it the most, it gave me the extra boost of bravery I needed to put myself out there at Squam."

Book #28 was found by the astounding Andrew Borloz, who pulled me aside in the cafeteria to show me the photo he took of his gift.

Andrew's story:

"After I brought the luggage and stuff into my room at the Long House, I walked to the wooden bench by the lake where I first met a small group of SAW instructors last year.  I suddenly saw the bag standing up on the bench, and I thought to myself, 'Oh no, someone left a bag there.  Let me get closer and see what was written on the bag.'

As soon as I saw the handwriting, I immediately recognized it - it was Christine's.  It said, 'This is a gift for YOU.'  As soon as I finished reading it, an internal dialogue ensued:

'I wondered who is YOU she was referring to.  Perhaps she gave this gift to a very close friend, and that friend might left there by mistake.  I don't really think I am one of her friends, so perhaps I should take it to Lost and Found'.

'But, if that is the case, someone would have already opened the bag.  You can tell by looking at the tape. Also, it should be left alone so that if someone comes here, it will be found.'

'Maybe it was meant for me.  Maybe she intended that anyone who finds it to pick it up and keep it.  I think I should open up the bag to see if Christine wrote a special note to a specific person'.

'No, leave it alone!'

I picked up the bag anyway, opened it, and pull out a book.  I opened it up and saw an explanatory note.  It was also numbered:  28 of 100.

'Oh, that's cool. I think I'll keep the book.'

'No, you already have the book. Let someone get it.'

'Yeah, you're right.  But it might still be there when the rain comes.  I would hate to see it get wet.'

'You worry too much.  Just leave the book alone.'

'Nah, I am going to take th e book anyway and let Christ ine know that I got it.'

Later that day, I told Christine that I had found the book.  She was very happy, and I am glad to see that I did the right thing - I ignored the critic in me and followed my gut feelings."

Next up:  Book Fairies are aflutter all over the globe.  Over the new few months we'll hear stories from Australia, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, South Korea and Iceland!

Christine Mason Miller

Santa Barbara, CA

Writer * Artist * Storyteller * Guide