A gathering for you… by Trinka Ravaioli

 

A gathering for you…

It seems these days there are articles everywhere on how to find happiness, how much money it takes and the science of it all. For me, The Gathering creates an atmosphere which fulfills most of what research on happiness suggests: ingredients for self care, making more friends and enjoying new experiences.

The founders of The Gathering, my mother, Charlotte Ravaioli and Suzanne Fisher Staples, gave me this generous gift in return for some graphic design help. Attendance has been a first step in self care that I ‘m not sure I was aware of. As so often happens when you look back there is a thread that comes clear. I was getting a taste of the creativity that can come from workshops that have the proper ingredients in place. Suzanne and Charlotte take the time and care to ensure a flawless event and it feels that way as you are able to focus on your own journey. It was a gift to myself that replenished me so I could get back to feeling the joy of taking care of others.

main-entrance-angleThe Gathering brought me back to my college years in a sense with the camaraderie of regular attendees and new faces that grow to know your work. It creates an atmosphere sociologists consider necessary for developing close relationships: “proximity; repeated unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other.”* It becomes harder to find lasting friendships as we age, at the very time when enjoying those social bonds is most important. This is a unique event to find those that lift you and inspire you to be a better version of yourself.

I have grown up in NEPA and consider Scranton a “roots” town, The Gathering offered me the opportunity to see my corner of the world through other people’s eyes. Keystone’s lush green campus in summer months begs me get outside. Not only am I fortunate to hear speakers who are experts in their field, I get to explore the mountain bike trails or do yoga beside Nakomis creek. It is a place to be present; a time aside to recharge with mind broadening conversation while using the senses to absorb new experiences.

If geeking out with creative types sounds like an event that fuels your fire, The Gathering at beautiful Keystone College is for you.

Trinka Ravaioli can be found on a blanket in her yard with laptop, sketchbook and picnic lunch with her kids.

* Excerpt from New York Times article “Friends of a Certain Age: Why Is It Hard to Make Friends Over 30?” By Alex Williams, July 13, 2012

  • Linda Wisniewski

    I am so excited to be invited to present a workshop at 2017’s Gathering with my friend Connie Garcia-Barrios! We are writers seeking to heal racism, and this group looks like just the ticket for inspiring me in my own work as well. Thanks for this great article!

    • Hi Linda – We’re thrilled to have you and Connie with us this year. This year, when contentious issues of all kinds keep us from talking to each other, our historic issues seem even more divisive, more in need of healing. You and Connie are taking on a big and important job — helping all of us to find the “better angels of our natures” in talking about race. We look forward to seeing you both.
      Suzanne