I hope you haven't tired of my reports from the Lake District. I have a few left to share. It has been challenging to find the time to post here.
Very soon, the Living Education Retreat takes place out on the prairie. I am so thankful for my five friends that give so generously of their lives and experience in order to help others more fully understand this philosophy of education. Part of the key to our retreat is the atmosphere, no doubt.
When we visited Ambleside, it helped me realize why she chose this place to train her teachers. The buildings, the hiking paths, the lakes, the flowers, the villages, the people all make for a reflective and peaceful atmosphere.
One of the first four college students at Mason's House of Education was Violet Parker. Her account of the beginnings at the college can be found in The Story of Charlotte Mason. She states:
We were at Fairfield House for three months, then when Springfield became vacant either Miss Mason or my mother took it...at Springfield Miss Mason's room was the large one at the top of the stairs on the right.Imagine our thrill when we stumbled upon this building which is right across from Scale How (the building her college was eventually located in.) First Fairfield housed the House of Education college students, then it apparently became a PNEU school.
|note the motto|
So they moved the college from Fairfield to Springfield, which was right off the same road. When we were there, Springfield was all boarded up, but occasionally a young man was spotted working around the building. A member of our party struck up a conversation with him and learned that yes, he had purchased the building and was in the process of completely renovating the neglected property in hopes of eventually moving his family there. Our friend then politely described the significance of Springfield to those of us engaged in bringing the Mason philosophy to others. This young man graciously took us on a detailed tour of the renovations, including the large bedroom at the top of the stairs to the right. It definitely had the best view of the garden (not the yard, as we Americans say.)
|Guess whose room was at the top to the right!|
|found in the wall at Springfield|
In Charlotte Mason's (and Wordsworth's) words -
It would be difficult to overrate this habit of seeing and storing as a means of after-solace and refreshment. The busiest of us have holidays when we slip our necks out of the yoke and come face to face with Nature, to be healed and blessed by
"The breathing balm,The silence and the calmOf mute, insensate things."- Mason, Vol. 1, p. 50
May all your goings be graces,