Sunday, July 08, 2007

Nature Walk

Last weekend we were up at the cottage and went on the most wonderful walking tour of this lovely place. Our tour guide Marion was so informative and full of knowledge that the two and a half hours of walking simply flew by. (Marion told us that she gets reprimanded occasionally for going over the scheduled two hour walk time, but she confessed that she just gets carried away with enthusiasm for the place. Believe me, we didn't mind one bit!) The Clearing is a Folk School established in 1935 by Danish landscape architect, Jens Jensen. One might think that The Clearing got it's name from the meadows found throughout the grounds. However, The Clearing has a different meaning to Jens Jensen. He wanted the school to be a place where "one can come to clear the mind and feel a kinship with the earth." Week long classes are offered in a variety of subjects ranging from drawing, woodworking, knitting, music, literature, paper arts, quilting, nature study, photography, and others at this 128 acre forested setting along a secluded shoreline. Delicious meals are served family-style in the lodge and students stay in cozy cabins like these:

The cabins look rustic on the outside, as they are original to the 1930's, but they are ever-so-comfy on the inside with each bed made up with crisp white linens and a handmade quilt made by students in the quilting classes, a fireplace, desk, table, and modern bathrooms.

Meals and down-time take place in the lodge which houses a dining room as well as a large sitting -room/library with a giant walk-in fireplace. The windows in the lodge offer glorious views of the forest and water beyond.

Classes and special events are held in the classroom building which is built of stone (pictured below) and features hand-carved woodwork and trim made by students, instructors and volunteers. Even the railing leading to the path in front of the building is made by students in the woodworking classes. All the saw dust from those woodworking classes is used to create the paths through the forest.

I first visited The Clearing with my parents when I was a child. Even back then I became smitten with the place and it's setting. I dreamt of someday taking classes at the school and leading the life of an artist. Years later I took my own family to see The Clearing and my daughter was also impressed. Although she was quite young at the time, she still remembers our visit there. Although many years have passed since my childhood days, I still dream of taking classes here. Now that we have the cottage, perhaps my dream is one step closer to becoming a reality.


PJ said...

What a neat and gorgeous place...what a nice treat!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeanne,

You're welcome to join my "Green Inchies" swap. You can sign up here:


Lilli in Vancouver said...

Thanks so much for the guided tour. What a lovely peaceful place. It's so important to get back to Nature, isn't it?

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