I had the most amazing weekend. I went out with a couple of colleagues to Kananaskis, to attend a conference on ESL teaching.
It was wonderful. I learned a ton of stuff, bought a couple of books, had interesting conversations, ate and ate and ate, sat in front of fires and talked about the fine and noble art of teaching, ate some more, looked at the mountains in awe (pictures to come later) and then ate. Also, there may have been some wine. And a story that involves setting fire to a wine and cheese reception, of which we shall not speak.
So, it was really good.
BUT (and this is where the story gets interesting) when we arrived on Thursday night we unloaded all our stuff (and the food) (and maybe some wine too) from the car and got ourselves all into the elevator to go to our rooms. There was another lady getting on the elevator too, and she had some really nice yarn with her (not Wal Mart acrylic stuff, people, this was the real deal. Lorna's Laces fingering weight, I think. Nice colour too.)
"Oh!" I said to this total stranger. "You're a knitter! I brought my knitting too." I brandished my bag at her, because certainly she could see that the Purple Cardigan that Would Not End was mere stitches from completion.
"Are you here for the knitting retreat?" she asked, and I almost fell over.
Because I knew there was a big knitting thing this weekend, that it was put on by Make 1 Yarn Studio which I love, and that important knitters would be here. But, in the haze of exhaustion in which I live, it never occurred to me that I was going to the same place for a different event. "They're in Kananaskis," I said to myself. "Gee, that would be a nice place to go!"
"Oh," said the lovely knitting stranger, "well, Amy from Knitty is here, and so is the Yarn Harlot!" (She mentioned a few more too, but I was a bit gobsmacked.)
People, I went to the mountains to learn about ESL and I met the Yarn Harlot. I didn't exactly crash their party, because I went to my sessions and not the knitting ones, but I did mingle with knitters whenever possible, and had a few very interesting conversations (including one about the Central Park hoodie, which I fully intend to knit one day when I have the time.) But I met the Harlot.
And I talked to her.
And she's really nice.
My colleagues could not believe that: a) there are knitting rock stars and b) some of them were in the same hotel and that c) I was clearly overwhelmed by the coincidence.
So the long and the short of it is this: I had a great weekend. I learned a lot. I met some knitters.
I guess the only zen at the top of the mountain really is the zen you brought with you.