While we're doing reviews, others are packing up the computers, books, and classrooms, putting everything away until next year. Folks hit the road, scattering to all corners of the nation (and globe in some cases). It's always such a bittersweet time.
Hollins really is a bubble of wonderfulness each summer. Nowhere else can people gather with others who speak the same language of children's books so immersively. Where you say some obscure name of a creator, book, or character and everyone nods, because they know what you are referring to. But primarily, it's a gathering of supportive friends who share similar passions.
I stay in my wee flat in Barbee, where I can close the door for privacy, or open it to have insta-friends—gorgeous, inspiring, supportive friends who I value so much. It makes me want to stay. And yet, I can't, because it doesn't stay. This environment only happens for six weeks each summer and it is magic.
Candice Ransom talked about it on her blog, "Joyful Writing Places," as did Claudia Mills in "Can the Joy of Time Away from Home Inspire Joy upon Returning?" I suggest you read them both.
As for me - I look forward to next summer, when I visit that bubble of joy once again!