We hosted our first retreat/workshop this past weekend 19 – 21 May 2017! It was a dream come true to host such an event that is in line with our vision for Bramleigh! (See About page for more.)
This weekend was a Sourdough baking retreat, hosted by Brad and Gabi Wills of Hope Rising. We all learnt so much! Yet the bread baking almost became secondary to the reconnecting with friends, reconnecting with God, experiencing nature and creation. It is almost impossible to summarise in words. All we can say is that it was felt. We learnt about the art of bread baking, using ingredients and processes that go back to simple homesteading practices of generations before us. We learnt about the value of eating good, wholesome food. Moving away from store bought processed convenience foods and going back to the traditions of home baking and the community of eating; sharing a meal and breaking bread together.
We met some incredible people this weekend who saw our vision with the same passion we see it. A vision is something so special, so unique and to be able to have a heart-to-heart connection with individuals who see and feel that too, was so motivating for us! Prophetic words were spoken over us that were simply beautiful, that echoed our hearts’ desires and original vision for this place – a place of restoration, of reconnection, of retreating, of realigning oneself with what is most important in life. Turning off your phone and simply being, simply enjoying.
Bramleigh is not a guesthouse or hotel style accommodation. It is slow, easy, country living. Going back to basics.We have learnt that people yearn for a break, a reconnection, a restoration of body mind and soul.
This was our original vision. We are retreating!
The original sense of the word retreat is to draw back, draw in, to regroup (an Old French word, originally in reference to battle) and then forge ahead with renewed vision, energy and strategy. The sense of “drawing back” from activity speaks volumes, as does the sense of “drawing in” – in the military sense, soldiers regrouping, but in our modern life, the importance of withdrawing from our mostly frenetic existence and to “draw in” to our centre is so powerful!
Bramleigh is certainly off the beaten track. But that is just how we like it! It is not the place to come to experience ‘country living’ with restaurants onsite, or shops next door. It is a place to come and be. In this day and age, many of us forget to just be. To just live. This is a place to escape the madding crowd, to spend hours walking through the forest appreciating the trees, listening to the bird song, watching the Autumn leaves fall; for runs through valley, cycles along the mountain. This is a place to experience. It is not a place to stay. It is a place to feel. It is about going back. Going back to basics.
We left the retreat feeling invigorated and inspired. Thank you to Brad and Gabi for being a part of the process of realising our vision of Bramleigh as a retreat venue, a place to “grow ideas” but also to the participants who became friends, who were so inspiring and helped us too to realise our vision!