A sprinkle of fairy dust, a night by the campfire, and a beautiful wedding ceremony; these are just a few of the wonderful things you can expect from Trilogy’s annual Southwest Retreat.
In September, 73 seniors and 92 staff members set out on a journey to New Harmony, Indiana, the site of two early American utopian communities. Not knowing what to expect from a place called paradise, they were each eager to learn what this utopia had in store for them.
In the Antheneum
Eager to find out everything they could about their home for the next 24 hours, everyone made their way to the Antheneum, where they were offered the complete history of New Harmony. They were told of its architecture, art, fountains, plaques of wisdom, parks for prayer and the "Lord's Woods." Here, they also met a parrot named Adventure, had fairy dust sprinkled in their hair, and enjoyed a special performance by miniature magical entities.
Exploring the Labyrinth
Among the hedgerows, residents found their adventurous side as they navigated the reconstructed Harmonist to find its center. Residents left the labyrinth and the surrounding gardens feeling accomplished, happy and peaceful, just as the Utopians had intended.
Staying up Late
Late that night, the staff and residents enjoyed time around the campfire. As they looked up into the beautiful clear sky and enjoyed a campfire treat of s’mores (some for the first time ever) residents agreed that they were tired but thrilled to be staying up past their normal bedtimes.
An Unexpected Thrill
If we’ve learned anything from past retreats, it’s that there’s always something special that happens which leaves everyone feeling joyful and blessed to be a part of the experience. This happened for Retreat 2015 when Larry, husband of our resident Cathy, asked her to renew their wedding vows under New Harmony’s historic Roofless Church. The crowd waited in anticipation as the groom proudly walked with his bride to the center of the church. The minister led the couple through the renewing of their vows. When the time came for Cathy's response, she repeatedly said ‘Yes!’ And when it was finally time to kiss the bride, Cathy would not stop at just one kiss. Many tears blessed this re-union, and You Are My Sunshine, sung by the congregation, gave the ceremony its perfect conclusion. The couple was then gifted the "honeymoon suite” complete with candles, flower petals, a lit fireplace and some sparkling cider.
Larry shared that this was one of the best days of his life. He said, "Besides our actual wedding day and the birth of our children, these past two days have been the best days of our lives. You all took us back to when we were newlyweds.”
Everyone agreed with Larry that this truly had been a great day; for more reasons than we can put into words. So, please enjoy these photos of our time spent in New Harmony, Indiana. It truly was a utopia.