1990 the first Buffalo Gap men’s retreat took place and I was not there. Had not even heard of it. But sometime over the next 12 months I found out about this extraordinary group of guys and jumped aboard. Every fall since then I have participated with the exception of the year I was in New Delhi, adopting my daughter.

When my son, Gabe, was three I began taking him, carrying him around in my arms. So, I have attended 25 of these annual get-together and Gabe has been to 16 of them. It’s like family now. We just returned from 2 1/2 days in Prince William Forest Park, where this year’s event was held far afield of our original location in Buffalo Gap, West Virginia. But the Virginia forest does not disappoint and we had an exceptional gathering, complete with late night bonfire, singing, poetry and storytelling, and then more sharing and talking together around the fire circle the next morning.

It’s an exceptional experience. A perfect mix of campfire and brotherly love. We come from all walks of life: students, retired, scientists, university professors, environmental educators, government wonks, military – a real Washington DC crowd.

Gabe and I had our own cabin and stayed up until 3 am last night reading poetry to each other and talking until we couldn’t keep our eyes open. I am home now, tired and happy.

What are you planning for renewal in the week ahead? Where will you go to get away from it all for some soul sustenance?

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”
– Thomas Aquinas