As important as my annual 8-day retreat is to me, I also find it helpful to find other opportunities to heed Jesus’ invitation to “Come away and rest awhile.” The hermitages at Wellsprings Farm offer a wonderful opportunity to do just that.
I spent Friday late morning to yesterday late afternoon away from computer, work and conversation. Prayer, reading, walks on the wooded “Sacred Path,” and labyrinth walks. Quiet time with God. It was wonderful.
In the foreground is the hermitage I stayed in – the Dome. (In the background is what has been referred to as Hermitage #2, although I think it has been named House of Francis.)
There is little I love more than walking in the woods. As much as I enjoy summer walks when the trees are full, I have always found a special beauty in trees this time of year.
The labyrinth is unlike any I’ve ever seen. The path is cut through a large grassy area, so that in some parts you see only the grass around you as you walk it.
A selfie in the early morning on Saturday, when it was still a bit chilly. As I left the house on Friday, the first hat I saw was one Elena’s then babysitter knit for her when she was eight. If I looked silly wearing it, there was no one there to tell me so.
I love the “CSR” model the owners of Wellsprings Farm have developed: “Similar to community supported agriculture (CSA), where individuals or organizations purchase a share of produce for a season, annual Community Supported Retreat (CSR) members receive a “share” of overnight stays at Wellsprings Farm. Like the CSA, the CSR is a creative, local economic model rooted in reciprocity and connection. In its best form, the Community Supported Retreat (CSR) model allows for more direct and meaningful relationship to the land and to one another.”
I am very grateful to my friend Richard, who told me about Wellsprings in time for me to purchase the last open membership for the year. And I am looking forward to my next visit!
Wellsprings may be the only CRS model of hermitages, but there are other hermitages out there. Even for those who can’t get away for a longer retreat, an occasional day of silence, contemplation and just being with God is a wonderful gift to give yourself.