Breast Cancer Survivor - Fall Weekend GetawayBCAK Fall Getaway 2012 The colours were spectacular; the rains held off, the sun shone down on the 10 of us that truly did escape to Wintergreen Studios for this year's annual BCAK Retreat. The theme this year was “getaway” and we did 'get away' from Kingston, Madoc, Bowmanville and Guelph, to gather and share two and half days of pure escape surrounded by the beautiful colours of autumn in the biosphere region of Frontenac Park. Greeted by Rena Upitis, and her staff, on Friday evening, we were invited into a gorgeous retreat lodge made of straw bale constructed walls, whose naturally-lit interior drew us, further into our escape as we found ourselves surrounded by earth-tone colours, wooden beams, rod iron railings, wood-fire stoves, and at night bedding made from pure cotton-bamboo sheets. We all slept very well!
For each meal, the 10 of us were drawn toward the immense kitchen, as rich flavours wafted from Louise and Caitlin's organic-based meals called time and time again, to bring us together for meals that were in themselves an escape as we “ooh and awed” over such elegant dishes of sweet potato-squash torte, red cabbage salad with cashews, curry savory soup, or 3 bean Mexican chili with fresh corn bread in which most ingredients were from the Wintergreen Studio garden or local farmers...getting hungry...and that was only some of the meals we ate this past weekend. To fulfil our need for nature, we hiked through meadows, cedar forests, granite rock scapes, and woods up to a core-wood constructed hobbit house which was at the halfway point of our 1.5 hour hike on Saturday. We then hiked on to sit and take in the spectacular autumn colours found in the tree-lined shores of Paddy's Lake. On our way back down to our retreat lodge, we hung the prayer flags we had made during the stop at the hobbit house on the branches of a old cedar tree near the beaver damned pond...it was easy to escape in this setting.
To ease our joints, muscles and bones, many of us were drawn to spend time relaxing in the cedar wood-burning sauna. Some of us frequented this often, and as we stepped out into the cool air of the starred filled sky above...we knew we truly had escaped on this getaway weekend!
On Saturday afternoon, to stimulate the creative juices, especially given our surroundings, we were led in a fused-glass making class, where from my viewpoint, there will be some beautiful pieces of unique, hand-crafted jewellery being gifted to loved ones by some of our 10 Retreat participants. Sunday morning started off with a gentle hour of yoga which not only stretched out muscles and spines, but also stimulated our appetites once more and led to a final feast of Finnish pancakes, maple-smoked bacon, and eggs.
If you check out the pictures on the BCAK website, you will be able to see that all 10 participants got what they were seeking....relaxation, companionship, nature, peace, letting go, creativity, and more...and thus ended our BCAK Getaway Weekend at Wintergreen Studios.
Sarah (a participant who cannot wait to go back again next year!)