The rustic cabin was built in 1909, and last refurbished in 2011. It was a true woodland cabin. The long narrow building had a hall going down one side. Off the hall, all on one side, were three bedrooms, each with a bath. In a nook of the hall was a dorm-size refrigerator with a minute sink, beside a long narrow table. At one end of the hall was a living room with a table to one side with a microwave on it. Beyond that was a screened porch, complete with a swing, two rocking chairs, and a few other assorted chairs. And beyond that was a narrow lawn with trees and benches, reaching down to the lake!
We were at Kanuga Conference Center and Camp, an Episcopal facility. When there is no conference going on, individuals can rent the cabins, and we were there with our son John, DIL Colleen, granddaughter Kara, and Kara’s friend Debbie. It was a vacation for us, no meetings, miles of hiking trails, hours of sitting on the porch.
Some years food is provided with a cabin rental; this year only breakfast. The dining room presented a buffet breakfast: eggs, grits, bacon, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, biscuits, and the best bread pudding I’ve ever had. Clarification: I’ve never eaten bread pudding before; my mother never made it, and I always thought it would be just soggy bread. I was wrong!!
The first morning the men went to Ingles in Henderson and brought some fruit, snacks, and sandwich makings for lunches. So there was always food in the fridge and on the table for stuffing ourselves on at any time. Add to that the homemade cookies I had taken along, and the homemade pineapple upside cake that Kara had made.
For dinner each night we made the 10-minute drive into Hendersonville, where downtown is a “happening place.” People filled the sidewalks, which were lined with restaurants and small shops. We ate barbeque one evening, Italian one evening, classic American food one evening, all but one eaten outside at sidewalk seating. Just walking around was fun; of course we noticed right away Kilwin’s Ice Cream Shop; our last meal there ended with ice cream! My bathroom scale was not happy when I returned. Really, though, it was I who wasn’t happy; the scale didn’t care!
Oh, there were the bears! Every intersection had 2 or 3 fiberglass bears, painted. There were 3 stances: on all fours, looking down, a mama sitting up and holding a cub, and upright. They added, not growls, but smiles and exclamations to the experience.
One of my favorite things about Kanuga is how the opportunity for spiritual things is blended seamlessly into the nature and buildings. One of three chapels was the Transfiguration Chapel. There were no services while we were there, but the doors were unlocked. The only stained glass window was over the altar, and depicted the Transfiguration of Christ in brillant colors. The other windows were clear glass, letting in the light and beauty of the outside. The interior walls and ceiling were pine, all having been harvested on the property. The woodland chapel was the St. Francis Chapel. A little path forked off to the side of one of the hiking trails, and we were greeted by a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, and then a bronze plaque with a verse from his “Canticle of the Sun.” The gathering place contained wooden planks attached to short logs, an altar with the prayer “Lord Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace” engraved on it, and a cross. All surrounded by woods.
Up the hill from there were 14 Stations of the Cross one could use as a meditation time. As we continued on up the hill on the trail I noticed a small sign on a post: “Be still and know that I am God.” When I saw another post up ahead I thought there would be verses all along the way. That one said “Be still and know that I am.” Next were “Be still and know,” “Be still,” and “Be.”
The Lakeside Chapel also had rustic seating, facing Kanuga Lake. Across the lake was a large white cross, which was also visible from many places along the shore.
The labyrinth was near our row of cabins, encircled by trees and flowering shrubs. In case someone mistook it for a maze to solve, there were signs at the entrance explaining the history of labyrinths, and how they are intended to be used.
There weren’t many people there when we were there, but I’m sure it is a bustling place when there are events going on. But even then there are places where one can go aside to find quiet and just “be.”
Wishing you some woodland renewal!