My Yellow Springs Retreat



Some people go to Florida for a retreat from the northern climes. I traveled one hour by car from Columbus and spent four days in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I had stumbled upon the new Park Mill Hotel when doing a Google search and was intrigued. When they later offered an upgrade at no extra cost, I became certain my visit was karmically destined. I had no plan other than to read, write, relax and explore. Here’s a bit of the joys I found.

A delicious cup of coffee at The Emporium on my first morning was a great start to my retreat. I had some time to write and was inspired by a great book of poetry from their shelves. I took a walk to Antioch College and checked out the fantastic and important Divided States exhibit at the Herndon Gallery. Jennifer Wenker, one of the curators, spent time explaining the exhibit and sharing her enthusiasm for art and for Antioch.   Later that day, I drove to the Raptor Center at Glen Helen Nature Preserve and admired the majestic birds being housed and helped there. I was the only one there on an icy January morning which made it all the more enjoyable. That evening included a restorative yoga class at The House of Aum followed by a fantastic South of the Border salad from Williams’ Eatery.

I visited a ton of stores and loved browsing, buying and chatting with the owners. I even overheard a discussion about smudging which was quite illuminating. Some of my favorite shops were Heaven on Earth, Oats, Asanda Imports, Bonadies Glass Studio, Sam and Eddies Open Books, Tibet Bazaar, Urban Handmade, Dark Star Books (I even met Mr. Eko, the cat) and Glen Helen Nature Shop. My favorites were Village Artisans Cooperative Gallery (I bought a lot there and wanted even more) and Earth Rose International Imports. Ed Oxley and I had a really great conversation at Earth Rose that segued into Snowdrop Flowers. He shared photos from his yard and offered to send me some bulbs. They arrived this week and are planted in my yard. Who knew such a flower existed and who knew someone like Ed would actually follow through on sending the flowers – such an incredibly kind and generous man.

Other highlights of my retreat included a movie at the Little Art Theatre, breakfast one morning at the Sunrise Café (probably the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had) and a concert on my final night at the Glen Helen Institute. It was part of the Cello Springs Festival and was a memorable conclusion to my visit. I was entranced by the soaring sounds combined with poetry readings and visual art. While the rain pattered on the windows, the cellos stirred the souls of those present.

My soul was replenished by my visit to Yellow Springs. I will be back. Thanks to everyone who shared a kind word or a warm conversation. You have quite a city!


This is a Letter to the Editor that was published in the Yellow Springs News, Yellow Springs, Ohio, the week of February 5th, 2017

Photo and essay by Rita Bourland –

4 responses

  1. Thanks for your lovely blog about Yellow Springs. You’ve done a great job of capturing much of what we love about living here. We certainly hope you return. And for those interested in learning more about Yellow Springs, visit our Facebook page.

  2. Your comment is very kind, Karen. It was a delightful few days in Yellow Springs. Now that I know my way around, I plan to return often!

  3. I think writing travelogues may be another opportunity for you. This sounds like a lovely town for a pleasant getaway!

  4. Thanks, Maureen. Travelogues would be fun. It’s great to be an anonymous observer in a new location. Sign me up. 🙂

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