Sometimes you need to visit the past to face the present. My wife and I love doing location-scouting daytrips for future films. They give us an opportunity to be together while exploring our adopted region. For the last several years we’ve turned our late October outing into a three-day Getaway. This year it was in nearby Kentucky. We began at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, among some of God’s most magnificent creatures; and then went on to our 200-year-old accommodations at the historic Shaker Village near Kentucky’s birthplace. Our three-day weekend getaway was all we’d hope for–and something more (see further thoughts after the photos we took).
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The Shakers’ getaway came when they separated from the Quakers in England and came to America in the late 18th century. Believing they were called to build heaven-on-earth, they strove to live out their ideals in Kentucky, among other places. Some of those ideals were noble and progressive—equal rights for women and minorities, classless society. Others were quirky and unsustainable—celibacy, a lack of distinction between spirituality and unchecked “spiritualism.”
Our Shaker Village guides were wonderful: From Holly, our historian-storyteller (and retired Methodist minister), to Ryan, a deep-voiced Shaker musicologist whose singing brought tears to our eyes.
Throughout the weekend, we steeped ourselves in 19th century Shaker life; even our room was furnished in simple-but-beautiful Shaker furniture. We learned and, in a sense, experienced the rise and fall of something appealing, yet destined to fail.
In our quiet escape to the past, we pondered the noisy present–the raging fears, and hopes and dreams of this mad, unpredictable year–and somehow, in our visit to the past, found renewed strength…
To face the present.
*The photos are mostly from our Getaway, but some are from recent daytrips.