I have a dream that keeps me awake at night. It’s the dream of owning several acres in the mountains. Part farm, part woodland. I want a white farmhouse that I live in with my boys, and several tiny houses dotted throughout the trees.
I want streams to paddle in, and a lake or river with a tree beside it that we can hang a rope from to swing into the water. I want an orchard, and a huge vegetable garden, and a whole bunch of other stuff, but the main thing is that this dream isn’t just for me.
It’s for my family, and my friends, but even more than that…it’s for the broken-hearted and the weary and the grieving. For the ones who feel like life isn’t how they’d imagined it would be.
I have this dream of a place for people to come and rest and find hope again, but last year, I got tired of waiting for the land. I got tired of saying “Maybe in five years…” and I trawled the internet for a perfect farmhouse, and hired a chef and a yoga instructor, and invited any woman who needed to rest, to be quiet, and to reconnect with what she’d lost, to join me in the English countryside.
They came from London and Southampton, from NYC, from North Carolina and Tennessee and Alaska.
I could tell you how it went, but I’ll let these photos and a few quotes from the women who came do most of the talking.
*Thank you a million times a million to Robin Quinn Photography, who came to Sanctuary as a guest, and then sent me this gorgeous gallery of photos afterward.
*Thank you to Caroline Williams, who led us in the most sacred, meditative yoga morning and night.
*Thank you to Chloe Chewter at Simply Healthy Lifestyle, who fed us delicious, plant-based meals morning, noon and night.
“The success and stability I’ve felt has been something I’ve been searching for for at least two years. Time with each of you in a true Sanctuary has grounded me in ways I never thought was obtainable again. Thank you for showing me love and grace and for helping mend my heart and health.”
“It was nice stepping away from the unrelenting stress of emails and deadlines and being under (what I thought was) a microscope for every decision gone wrong. I just needed the time to think and believe in myself.”
“I just needed the time away to think and believe in myself. Sanctuary was every bit of that! And yoga with Caroline definitely created space for me to be with God in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.”
“As a mum of two little ones my identity has gotten a bit lost. Sanctuary gave me the space and rest I needed to renew my heart, mind and body. It reminded me of who I am…and the company wasn’t bad either!”
“[Sanctuary} was exactly what I needed at the exact time I needed it.”