FEENY WOOD. Retreat. Reflect. Restore.


Over the past two years my husband Bob and I have been responding to an invitation of the heart. When I’m most awake and sense something percolating up into a compelling vision, I interpret it as God saying, Look, look, over here! Given who I am, where I’ve been, and what brings me fully alive, is it any wonder that God’s invitation for change can be particular and specific?

FEENY WOOD is a seed that was planted in my heart through a book — Poustinia, by Catherine Doherty.

Feeny Wood arrived when I noticed and responded to an inkling that niggled and captivated me, then compelled us to leave our family home of 18 years, move to a countryside location, and begin to open our lives more fully for the sake of others.

We are fairly certain that Feeny Wood is a God story.

Here’s what Creator says:
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.
Isaiah 43:19

Feeny Wood is a contemplative Christian retreat and our home. It is a place of refuge and prayer extending welcome to those in need of rest, reflection, and spiritual refreshment individually and in community.

Feeny Wood has become an unfolding and defining chapter in our lives.

Find out more HERE at our newly launched website.

Since November 2018, we have nestled into our home, built a prayer hut — a modern woodland Bothy — and created a tranquil courtyard garden. Feeny Wood is now open for individuals seeking a half-day or day long retreat. Through a trusted community partner, spiritual direction is available to our guests. You can reserve your time through the website.

Our vision going forward includes creating a woodland sculpture trail and a meadow labyrinth, holding small gatherings focused on living an artful faith-centred life, and publishing a blog series of spiritual meditations. God continues to lead us in the way.

Our first guest spent 5 days on retreat and said,

Everything at Feeny Wood is saturated with beauty and meaning that draws the spirit into restful reflection and renewal. The hosts are the definition of hospitality. I will come back time and time again. Thank you so much for providing this space for me! 

Come on over to our new WEBSITE, subscribe to our email list, and be in the know about upcoming happenings at Feeny Wood.

With deep gratitude to Joel Clements of Brainstorm Studio for capturing our Feeny Wood sensibilities so beautifully in branding and website design.

And for my dear husband, Bob, whose large-hearted YES continues to embolden and sustain me — I’m so grateful for our shared years of adventures.

A hundred thousand welcomes. Céad míle fáilte.

It’s a wrap!


 

30 days
28 featured guests
485 party goers
Wasn’t that a party!!!

 

What a rich time this has been, one which has me realizing again what an incredible creative community (online and off) that I get to participate in. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about each one of you, and appreciate how candidly you’ve answered my questions. I can’t think of a better way to celebration National Poetry Month!

Below is our NaPoMo Poetry Party Featured Guest List, with links back to each guest’s post. So continue to enjoy and follow up with one another. Learn more about these incredible and unique creative beings who bring light to our needful world.

And if you find yourself mysteriously drawn to pick up a pen, or a paintbrush, or a camera, again for for the first time, I encourage to follow that inkling. Every art form is a gateway. Enter in, dear one.

With deep gratitude to each of you who have graced us with your presence.

Blessings, good health, and creative adventures,

Lesley-Anne

NAPOMO POETRY PARTY
List of Featured Guests

Joel Clements

Barbara Colebrook Peace

Karen Connelly

Gary Copeland Lilley

Brigitta Davidson

Chris Hancock Donaldson

Daniella Elza

Lesley-Anne Evans
(and again)

Malcolm Evans

Lowell Friesen

Malcolm Guite

Rawle James

Amanda Kelly

Deborah Lampitt-McConnachie

Anne Linington

Margaret Macpherson

Susan McCaslin

Nygel Metcalfe

Norm Millross

Richard Osler

Sally Quon

Jason Ramsey

Carmen Rempell

Harold Rhenisch

Robert Rife

Hillary Ross

Christine Valters Paintner

Bernadette Wagner

NaPoMo poetry party.26


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Joel Clements is a graphic designer, documentary photographer, and widely involved creative soul who lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario with his fabulous wife Andrea, and two adorable cats. I have witnessed the exceptional work of Joel’s hands in his woodworking, cabinetmaking, and renovating. His vintage canoe is one example of his loving and meticulous process of preserving things of beauty.

To have a creative conversation with Joel is best enjoyed with a cold craft brew in your hand and a good chunk of time to sit and wonder together. For now I’m just going to imagine the day that will happen again, and enjoy our virtual chat.

Joel is my brother, and my friend. Welcome to Buddy Breathing, JC. Your websites HERE and HERE are great resources for folk to dig in and find out more about you, and experience more of your work. Today you’ve brought us a poignant poem, and a photograph, but let’s dig first into the answers to three questions.

Lesley-Anne: We often say we wish we had more time for certain things. Are you spending your time differently in view of our current world challenges? If so, how?

Joel: I’ve been a self-employed creative for almost 14 years, so working from home hasn’t required an adjustment besides adapting to sharing the house 24/7 with my wife. Social distancing and travel restrictions are definitely having an effect on my photography. Last year at this time I was preparing for a month long documentary assignment in Malawi. I have taken the opportunity to play a little – with my Polaroid cameras and some mixed-media art projects. I take a little time out of work each day to do some art for art’s sake.

Lesley-Anne: Why is art important?

Joel: Creativity is central to my being. I love to create, and experience things that other people have created.

Lesley-Anne: What is one surprising thing that happened today?

Joel: I received a request to submit a poem to Buddy Breathing.

Your photo and poem are gifts that seem so well suited to each other. Thank you for taking us here.

Love and hope,
Lesley-Anne

304A6713

Downtown Toronto under lock down.

Grief Moved In

Blue sweatshirts,
sweat-stained,
darkened,
sled labelled boxes
down the hall
jammed with
box-spring skeletons,
and grunt
a piano up
the stairs

The sofa rests hard
on soft shoulders,
carried away
from an empty
shrunken room.

We sit hard
on hardwood floors,
listen to squeals
of dolly wheels
rolling up plywood
ramps, eat
fried chicken
from the bucket,
sharing memories
with deaf walls
as grief moves in.