The Porch at Claire Cabin
St. Francis of the Woods

Five years ago this month
Ann and I started
Turtle Rock Farm:
A Center for Sustainability, Spirituality and Healing.
So, time had come
to take a little time
away together;
to step aside
and look back
and look forward.
24-hours ago,
we came to St. Francis of the Woods,
a long-established, lovely retreat center
near Coyle, OK,
started by a dear woman—
friend and board member, Kay Adair.
Tucked amid trees
in an entirely different eco system—
the cross timbers—
free of tasks and interruptions,
we have remembered,
and reflected
on the last five years:
successes,
trials,
learnings.
We discussed what worked
and why;
what hasn’t worked
and why;
the things that evolved
that surprised us;
the things that didn’t evolve
that surprised us.
We took a hard look
at the challenges
and our deepest passions and concerns.
We looked ahead
at what we want to develop
and grow.
We stand this morning
under a patch of blue sky
with clouds building,
the breeze growing stronger,
and appreciate
the land where we live,
our grandparents and parents
and children
who love it,
and the opportunity we have
to share it—
to help people connect with the natural world,
their deepest selves,
others,
the Source of Life
and to live more consciously
as one sacred, living organism.
And so we leave the beauty and our solitude
in the cross timbers
and head home to the beauty and community
of wide-open space,
the giant bowl of sky
above the mixed grass prairie,
looking ahead
to the next five years
at Turtle Rock Farm.