A week ago I quietly slipped away from the world to spend five days at Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre. Staying true to my wish from last year to escape to a cabin in the woods, this is what the view is like looking south from the retreat centre:
Those are two of ten cabins that surround the centre where up to four people can sleep to the sound of cicadas and wake to the sound of bird song. Having made plans to stay at the centre separately from any pre-packaged, group retreat program, I got an entire cabin to myself. For the greatest amount of privacy and peace and quiet, I was placed in cabin 3, which is located farthest from the centre. You can just barely see the red roof in the centre of this photo because the cabin is nestled right into the forest:
I spent my week taking in the scenery, writing in my journal, and doing a whole lot of nothing. I broke up the days attending yoga and meditation classes in a gorgeous studio that featured round walls, large windows to let in plenty of natural light, mandalas painted onto the walls, and a domed ceiling:
The only disruption to this relaxing experience were the mosquitoes. I was using DEET-free Druide organic insect repellent that smelled strongly of citronella and worked like a charm... until it wore off in the middle of the night and the bugs trapped inside my cabin feasted on my exposed skin! I am happy to state that not a single deer fly managed to bite a chunk of flesh out of me, and my mosquito bites are no longer itchy, so all is well.
I look forward to returning to Sugar Ridge in the fall, when the colours turn, and again in the early spring in time for maple syrup season, as the centre was built within a sugar maple forest that is tapped for sap every year. I'm also a big fan of the environmental aspects of the centre, such as the straw-bale walls of the yoga studio, low-flow toilets, washroom lights running on motion sensors, high efficiency windows, ample use of compost bins, and a focus on local and organic food. Click here for the complete list of environmental practices.
Have you been away this summer? Were you able to make your vacation relatively green?