Restorying, nature, and soul for the Solstice
December 13-15, 2019
Rolling Ridge Study Retreat (near Harpers Ferry, WV)
With Lindsay McLaughlin, Julie Gabrielli, Lisa Bardack, and Katy Gaughan*

“Even amidst such devastating loss of culture, languages, wild lands, and species—magic and mystery still occupy the borderlands of civilization, waiting patiently for us to remember that we don’t know everything about the nature of so-called reality, or even about our imaginative capacity to create other possibilities, other ways of being human.”

from Deep Winter by Geneen Marie Haugen

“Since he means to come to a door he will come to a door”

from Willful Homing by Robert Frost

Solstice, meaning “sun stands still,” in winter marks the moment when deepest night lingers over the Earth’s northern hemisphere as the sun seems to pause at its lowest point in the timeless cycle of light and dark.  Our ancestors knew in their bones the sacredness of this time.  They entreated the sun to move again, heralding the light and warmth of spring, even as they relished the revelatory dark.

This sense has slipped away from us in our modern hustle and bustle and has been profoundly lost to us amid the collapse of both nature and culture.

Yet the solstice can be a holy opportunity to stand still for a moment and recapture our connection to the slowly wheeling heavens, and to the blessed dreaming Earth; it can be an invitation to come home to ourselves and our belonging, a homing so necessary in these troubled times.

Once we lived by the cycles and seasons, and they lived in us.  They comforted us, shook us, reassured us, taught us.  On this retreat we reweave our connection to cycles and seasons, to Earth and Heavens and Mystery.  Through restorying (the practice of listening to inner whispers and ancient tales and to the stories we hear in the wild around us) we may find our way home again.

We wander in solitude in the mystical, enchanted forest, seeking to be met by bare-branched oak, hawk and owl, frozen stream.  We attend to dreams that sing to us in the long nights.  We gather for ceremony and story, for sacred dance, drumming and song, and for circles of shared wisdom.

Cost (includes six meals, lodging, and program):
• $299 – single room
• $249 – shared room (come with a friend or partner)

The retreat is for men and women and for people of all faiths and for those who might call themselves spiritual but not religious.

The retreat begins at 5 pm Friday (includes dinner) and concludes with lunch on Sunday (departure by 3 pm).  Early arrival on Friday (beginning at 2 pm) is encouraged.

*Retreat Leaders for Homing in Winter:

Lindsay McLaughlin lives, writes, and tells stories at Rolling Ridge, where for more than a decade she has led retreats that reconnect to nature and soul.

Julie Gabrielli practices and teaches sustainable architecture and has long been an advocate of reconsidering the stories we live by. Her writing, storytelling and retreats all explore the effects of immersion in sensory and imaginative kinship with the wild, animate earth.

Lisa Bardack is a Sacred Circle Dance Facilitator and has cultivated a seasoned understanding of body movement as an instrument for joy, healing and wisdom.

Katy Gaughan is a gifted drummer and Drum Circle Facilitator whose mission is to bring people together to experience the restorative power of drumming and rhythm.

Together we bring a fascination with the power of story to renew our world.

Other Helpful Links:
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Directions to Rolling Ridge Study Retreat

This retreat is currently full. To inquire about a waiting list please email