POSTPONED – Writing to Heal: Words and Nature as Medicine for the Heart

Nature Journaling at Pepperwood Preserve

*Postponed – We regret to inform you that, due to concerns about COVID-19, we have decided to postpone this event. Stay tuned for announcements regarding a future event*

Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15, 2020
9am Saturday – 12pm Sunday

Meet at the Bechtel House
$300 per participant ($250 for members)
Ages 18 and up welcome

Why do we write? Writing is a process that can help us heal, especially when we recognize the power of our own words. In the words of Sylvia Plath, writing “starts stubbornly in the body, and beyond—father and mother, even back of that. Which is to say it starts in memory.” As the expert witness to our own life and memories, it is vital that we record what we experience and what we feel. How do the stories we tell of our lives inform and shape our world view? How do we heal ourselves in a world full of hurt?
In this two-day retreat led by local poet and environmental educator Allie Rigby, we will center ourselves around the nurturing act of writing in nature, as well as the healing power of sharing our words. We will explore the resilient landscapes of Pepperwood and stay overnight at the Bechtel House cabin. The workshop will commence with a full day of discussions, nature walks, solitary writing time, and readings. We will also examine excerpts from Terry Tempest Williams, Ada Limón, Lydia Yukavitch, Roxane Gay, and Tara Brach. Saturday evening includes a catered dinner, followed by casual stargazing from the Bechtel House deck.
On Sunday we’ll enjoy a delicious brunch along with time to share our work. The retreat concludes with special guest Maya Khosla, Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, who will read some of her poetry, which was directly inspired by the landscapes of Pepperwood. Some of the weekend’s activities will be held in the field and will include hiking 1-3 miles at a slow pace. Bring a tent to sleep under the stars or sleep in a bunk in the Bechtel House (for an additional fee). Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch are included. All levels of writers are welcome!

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Register for this class using the secure form below.

For all questions about this event, please contact Holland Gistelli, Education Specialist, at or (707) 591-9310 x 124.

Early bird registration for Pepperwood members begins at 9am on Monday, December 2, 2019. Enter the code you received when you became a member to access early registration and to receive your discount. If you’re not sure about your membership status or don’t know the code, contact Sloane Shinn, Community Associate, at or (707) 591-9310 x 133. Click here to become a member today!

Registration for the general public begins at 9am on Monday, December 9, 2019.

Refund Policy: A full refund will be given for cancellations 21 days or more before the start of this event. For cancellations within 20 to 8 days before the event, a 50% refund will be given. Refunds will not be given for cancellations within 7 days of this event.