“The dream was born in me to have a place in a natural setting where people from all walks of life could not only talk about a restful, healing environment in a natural setting, but could actually experience it.” – Glenda Taylor
When I first set foot on the land I now call Earthsprings, it felt like coming home. It was 1980. I had flown to Texas from California to answer an ad in a newspaper that mentioned land adjoining Davy Crockett National Forest. I was already aware (from my childhood memories of living in East Texas) that this was a beautiful area. When I saw this land, I knew immediately that I wanted to live here.
What I didn’t know was that I was to be only the third legal owner of this property. The first owner got a land grant from Spain in the 1820’s, the land stayed in the family of the second owner for over a hundred years, and then I came along.
It would be a number of years more before I learned that one of my ancestors (my great-great-great grandfather) had the first legal title to land only about five miles away (as the crow flies) from here. He got his land grant as bounty for fighting in the Texas Revolutionary War, and his name is still on the maps that identify his league of land. So it’s no wonder, really, that when I set foot on the soil here, it felt like home.
Love at First Sight
I quickly fell in love with this land with its gently rolling terrain, its deep forest, its wildlife and wild flowers, its year round creek fed by natural springs. I had the same feeling that numerous people have since mentioned to me, that this is a healing place.
A Place of Community
Even before I was able to live here, I began to bring people to the land for retreat. The first retreats were wilderness retreats. We camped in tents, took our water from the springs, and cooked over a campfire. Then, year by year, the retreat center began to take shape. Weddings occurred here. People came for special retreats, rites of passage were celebrated, vision quests and initiations occurred, a friend’s son’s ashes were sprinkled here, babies were named and celebrated here. Buildings began to be built. And I came to live here. But I have always known that, as Chief Seattle and Robert Frost both said, “I belong to the land, the land doesn’t belong to me.”
A Healing Place
So, here at Earthsprings, I watch the deer, the raccoons, the fox, the squirrels, the armadillo. I listen to the coyotes and the owls, the whippoorwill and the peepers. In the spring, I watch the sweet new green leaves emerge while the dogwood and redbuds and wildflowers bloom . In the fall, I revel in the color as leaves turn golden and bronze and red. In winter, I watch the flames in the wood stove, and in the summer I go for long walks, sometimes in summer rain. I paint and I write and I dream here. I know this to be a healing place.
Years ago, in California, I went to a conference. I sat in a huge meeting space with about 1500 people, all seated on folding chairs in a windowless, air-conditioned room. Doctors and psychologists and various healers went to the podium and talked about the necessity of reducing stress, of getting out into nature, of having clean air, etc. The irony did not escape me that at this conference the place where we were meeting was not what was being described as a healing environment. The dream was born in me to have a place in a natural setting where people from all walks of life could not only talk about a restful, healing environment in a natural setting, but could actually experience it.
What I do here at Earthsprings is the result. It is my deep desire to share the peace and beauty of this place with others. Come and join me here to see it for yourself. Bring your group, or come for your own personal healing retreat. You’ll be glad you did.
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