This is the second installment in our series, 25 for 25: one story per week from Hope Springs' history, to lead up to our 25th Anniversary Celebration, June 18-21, 2020.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOPE SPRINGS
In my mind, Hope Springs and founder Suzanne Stevens are one in the same. Suzanne and I met in Costa Rica in the late 1980’s at a Self-Differential Training sponsored by National Training Labs. We were in competition for a single room. I won and would later discover that our birthdays were the same month and day, and that we had both brought a garment that was of the same African print. Who would have known that this White, mid-western woman was in fact my sister, and that our lives would become one of spiritual kinship and eternal friendship.
We traveled to India and South Africa often admiring the same textiles. I was with Suzanne when she first walked the land of Hope Springs, made the decision to purchase, and committed to be a guardian of the land. I can still see the sincerity and faith in her eyes. I was involved in the new and upgraded structures on the land, and in planting prayers on the land and in the ravine. In all, the ceremonies vowed hope and peaceful unification of all beings.
Hope Springs was created with my Celebration of Rage and Generation Healing retreats in mind, prayers of which were planted in the walls during construction. Suzanne would go on to endorse my books and promote my work. All who attended my retreats at Hope Springs felt nurtured by the sacredness of the land, the kindness of staff, and from the amazing food that was served with impeccable sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and beauty, greatly nourishing the work we were doing.
Over these past 30 years, Suzanne and I have shared the growing pains and glory of our children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren. My last retreat at Hope Springs was also the second date with my wife now of 14 years. It was befitting that Hope Springs and Suzanne and Al would bless this new beginning, and that Suzanne would stand with me at our wedding 10 years later.
The seeds of hope that were intentionally planted 25 years ago now have deep roots, a strong trunk, far-reaching branches, and the shade of wise leadership. The legacy of Hope Springs continues to address the leadership challenges of our time, on sacred land, while offering an understanding of our interdependence with all things and that the power of kindness is a weapon of mass healing.
Happy 25th Birthday, Hope Springs! May your seeds of hope continue and multiply. Enjoy this video of warm reflection! ~ Ruth King
Ruth King is an international teacher in the Insight Meditation tradition, and an emotional wisdom author and life coach.