This winter, some Heart’s Home seminarians and permanent members gathered at the ICCC for a month of manual work and study. Bruno, Anais and Mariane share with us their experience upstate New York, and raise the question:
What springs to mind when one says ICCC?
As one crosses the threshold of the house, the very first thing that delights the eye is the warm colors springing from all sides, the works of some artist friends, a stove right in the center of the room from which a soothing flame comes forth, and above all friends; friends who welcome you with a convivial meal. What a contrast with our first impression of New York by night with all of its excessiveness! Here we are in a human-scaled house, which feels like home, like family. The deep peace of nature surprises us: all is white outdoors, all is silent. However, as we walk into the forest, the blows of woodpeckers, the races of deer and the sounds of squirrels remind us how much this nature is indeed alive. And there is also the light which filters through the branches of the trees and reflects on a beautiful frozen lake (fertile ground for furious hockey games!) This place is such a haven of peace and an ideal setting for work! And work is not lacking indeed: cleaning the forest, gathering wood, building up the house; not to mention the courses on Metaphysics and Mariology delivered by two of the Heart’s Home priests. Through these courses we learn how to contemplate and have a deeper gaze on reality, on the people surrounding us, on nature, on our work, on gratuitous time spent together.
In this magnificent place, we have also made beautiful encounters with some of the neighbors. In particular with A. and her son C. both of whom are artists: they brought some friends and graced us with a private concert in the living room of our house! The small chamber orchestra delighted us with some musical variations of Bless the Lord, Brahams and also some of their own compositions. Last weekend, too, 8 friends came from New York to join the community for a retreat day preached by Fr. Thierry de Roucy. All of them went home overjoyed and refreshed after this beautiful day full of times for sharing and recreation. And we remained delighted, as well, at having spent such a wonderful time surrounded by many friends!