Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, friends of Oranbega!

You will see immediately that there have been some changes around here, but we are still “the quiet place between the rapids” and still very well equipped to offer you the peaceful space for working, meditating, and growing creatively you have always longed for, and fully deserve.

First of all, we welcome back to our working team the inimitable and multi-talented Kevin Borchers, who has redeveloped our website so that it is even easier to use and ever more beautiful. He will be on call for website maintenance and general tech consulting, so if you have any questions or challenges using the site, please contact him directly at webmaster@oranbegacenter.com

Sadly, we have said farewell to Spencer Nelson as Property Manager. He has his own business start-up to take care of, which is taking most of his non-drumming time, so this summer he decided to move on. He will still be available to help the Center with musical events and to give guidance and mentorship to you if music is the creative focus of your retreat. He and his band brought the New Year in with style this year at the Fogtown Brewery in Bar Harbor. If you’re in luck, he may have a gig while you are staying here. Not to be missed!

Our new Property Manager is not really new at all. Amy Devoe has given us many dedicated hours as a house cleaner and personal assistant to the Director, and now she has added on the Property Manager role as well, Spencer gave her some training during the transition, and Amy took to it like a duck to water! She is very capable, a really quick learner, and one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the work of Oranbega Retreat Center. We thank Spence for all his hard work to help us get where we are today, and Amy and Kevin for their eagerness to help us forge ahead into the future.

The final new addition to our team is a cat! Not just any cat, but a Maine Coon Cat, one of the most beloved breeds in the cat world, and with good reason. These are big, intelligent, beautiful cats with lynx-like ears and fluffy tails, and Angelica is a purr-fect specimen. Just seven months old, she is still not much more than a kitten, and is full of lively energy and curiosity. She is very loving, but with a mind of her own. I realize that having a cat in the house will be a detriment to some prospective Guests. But I know there are also many Guests who will love to have her around to cuddle and play with as part of the ways this house can relieve stress and bring pleasure. Her motto is, “the world was made for me to play in!” It’s not a bad attitude for any of us. Angelica is strictly an inside cat, and is forbidden to go into the Guest Bedrooms. Nor is she allowed in the kitchens. I hope you get a chance to meet her.

Another huge change is that finally this year, people are beginning to discover us! We have bookings for the summer and fall of 2023 already! In fact, if you are thinking about a retreat for yourself this year, you had better be quick, or you won’t be able to book your preferred room at the most convenient time. We are also happy to start making bookings for 2024, if you like to plan ahead.

For me personally the last two years have been ones of profound change. Some of the changes have been deep losses– a beloved sister who died last year, for one– and other changes that have been just as challenging in a positive direction. Through it all I have felt the steadying rhythms of tides and weather, and of the river life that laps our banks, and I have felt the constancy of the beating heart of the universe, holding us all in love, and making for us, even in the midst of loss and of winter hardship, a new year of possibility and promise. May it be so for you too. Come and share these hopeful rhythms of life and growth at Oranbega in 2023! A Happy and Creative New Year to every one of you!