One spring, three former house advisors returned to the hill to lead the community in a workshop: ‘Ranchers Search for Meaning.’ As a true testament to the cultural heritage and sense of connection among people who’ve been associated with the Ranch, Amy Fairbanks (2000s), Kurt Shaffert (1990s), and Suzanne Lynch (1980s) never worked together or even in the same decade, but nonetheless pulled together a workshop to present to the community, using their collective talents and interests, because they love the Ranch and wanted to give something back. The following piece was developed during the workshop by House Advisor Melissa Redd:
It seems obvious and intuitive to me that the Heart of Spring Lake Ranch is the lake. I mean, it is right there in the smack-dab middle of the name and I'm pretty sure it is what first caught the eye of the ranch's founders back in the 1930s.
Today and, I imagine, through the years, staff and residents alike find their way to the lake's edge whenever they need a moment of deep introspection, solace, solitude. Taking that trek up, up, up and then back down, down, down to stare out at or dip beneath the glassy surface feels like a re-set ritual. In a sense, it's absolutely baptismal; a plunging, a cleansing, a transformative renewal and rooting of the mind, body, and soul.
That is, essentially, at the heart of what we do at the ranch as well. We plunge, cleanse, renew, root, and transform. It is happening in our bodies as we embrace physical work, good eating, and abstaining from harmful substances. It is happening in our minds as we set our intentions and path and work our way forward with guidance.
That's the other great thing about this baptismal process, we are all in the water together. In some ways we are a swirling mix of intentions and personalities, preferences and abilities, and yet it works. We are all out in these baptismal waters together, taking deep breaths to plunge under and transform together.
~ From the Ranch Program team