Margaret is a dear, dear friend of mine who I have known since Katie and her twin boys were in kindergarten. She also has a daughter who is the same age at Madeleine. Our kids have grown up together and our families are close. But it's not just our kids who have grown up together. Margaret and I have grown as parents, wives and women together. We joke about spending our advanced old age in the same nursing home. Anyway, I decided to invite Margaret to join me on my "retreat" since she is experiencing many of the same adjustments as she navigates her way through having her oldest children leave for college. Margaret and I have done a little traveling in the past and we like the same things - books, art, museums, history (wild and crazy, I know). It seemed like the perfect fit. I would get my time away from life to regroup AND I would be able to do it with a friend who "gets" it.
Sandy helped me find and book a room at Vacation Villages in Hancock, MA in the Berkshire Mountains.
Freedom from Want
Image from Google
We also got to tour his studio, which was moved onto the site of the museum after his death.
After touring the museum we explored the tiny town of Stockbridge and had lunch at the famous Red Lion Inn.
Overall the town itself was disappointing - not much there beside the Inn. But it was cool to see the site immortalized in Rockwell's famous painting - Main St, Stockbridge.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I knew little or nothing about Wharton and what I learned on the tour intrigued me enough that I borrowed a Young Adult biography of her from the library and read it when I got home. Edith was a fascinating woman who led a rich and interesting life. If you are at all interested, the book is The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton by Wooldridge. The visit has also inspired me to add at least one of her books to my tbr list. I think I'll start with The Age of Innocence, for which she won the Pulitzer (the first woman to be awarded that prize).
Unlike the Stockbridge Library, the Lenox library was open and Margaret and I decided to look around. It was unbelievably beautiful inside and I could just picture myself spending hours and hours sitting in this room reading. *sigh*
When we went into the main building to explore, we were both surprised to find that the atmosphere inside was not particularly silent, hushed or reverent. There were lots of women milling around in yoga gear talking and laughing. There was also a large white board posted on the wall that showed each day's yoga offerings in addition to classes specific to the various workshops being offered that week. Margaret knows two women who have spent time at Kripalu. One comes every year for a weekend retreat, all by herself. The other has come once for a week long retreat. I must admit it was intriguing to me. I have taken a handful of yoga classes in the past, but have never become an aficionado. I am, however, interested in exploring this as a potential source of exercise. Who knows, maybe a Kripalu retreat is in my future.
I spent the rest of that day in the room reading, relaxing and thinking. And the next day, I knew I was ready to go home and step back into my life. I guess sometimes we just need the world to stop so that we can catch our breaths and evaluate our emotional responses. At times, that is easier done when we can remove ourselves from the demands of everyday life. I know that I benefited greatly from Pam and Margaret's Rejuvenation Retreat. I feel so fortunate to have had that opportunity. And I am grateful to Sandy and Dad for affording me it to me and to Geoff and Madeleine for encouraging me to take it and to stay until I felt completely ready to come home. I am so lucky.