Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sacred Rocks Reserve

Marshall Chapman, MECAC Treasurer, at Sacred Rocks

On Thursday afternoon the Board of Directors of the Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council (MECAC) had their monthly Board meeting at Sacred Rocks Reserve in Boulevard (30 minutes east of our small town, 90 minutes east of downtown San Diego). The Reserve currently is more of an RV park/campground, but the owners, Dmitri and Sharon Courmousis, are planning to turn this gorgeous 160+acre site into a colony for artists. Currently eight very environmentally-friendly vacation cottages have been erected for rental or purchase with plans for many more to be added. The Art Colony will use only 20-some acres of the property with the remaining 140 acres remaining as a natural preserve.

The most interesting aspect to me was the large labyrinth modeled on Chartres in France and apparently the largest in the state of California at 100 feet in diameter and over 1500 feet in length. Apparently it takes more than twenty minutes to pray one's way in and twenty minutes out, plus meditation time in the center. I have walked the labyrinth in Alpine, but this one is quite a bit larger and although newer, has been weathered such that it appears just as old if not older. The premise is to slowly walk, praying silently, through the labyrinth to the center where one can sit to meditate and pray, then on the path out, one gives up all that has been prayed for into God's keeping. It's a beautiful way to pray in His creation; sunrise or sunset are definitely the best times to walk an outdoor labyrinth.

After lunch and our MECAC Board Meeting, Sharon kindly took us on a tour of the grounds, starting with the labyrinth and the artists' cabins on out through the vast expanse of the property dotted with 400-500 year old oaks. At the end of the tour we were shown the incredible rock formations for which the reserve was named which were probably used in religious ceremonies by Native Americans for hundreds of years. The rocks are huge (refer back to the first photo with Marshall to see the scale), surrounded with oaks hundreds of years old (and a little poison oak as well, of which Sharon warned us). The tour finished at the large salt-water pool and hot spa. Sacred Rocks was a lovely treat, a beautiful place to spend at least an afternoon, if not much longer. If you are interested, you may follow the blog for Sacred Rocks for up-to-date information on artistic events.

MECAC hopes to work with Sacred Rocks Reserve in supporting and promoting the artists of back country San Diego County while also preserving wild open spaces with mature trees and incredible rock formations seemingly carved by the palm of the Creator.


Anne said...

Looks like a beautiful setting Susanne! I've walked and prayed a labyrinth quite a few times and it is a nice way to reflect on our journey of life as we make our way to the center-God. But, I have found that our Catholic tradition of Eucharistic Adoration, for me, is vastly more meaningful. I believe it's because I know that Jesus is actually present in the Eucharist that this prayer form means so much to me. I did write a little story about my first experience walking a labyrinth. You might like it, I'll send it to you by e-mail.

God bless you Susanne! You are beautiful and I am so glad to come to know you!

Purple Mountain Save said...

Suzanne, we enjoyed showing this natural wonderland and look forward to wonderful retreats including the writing day coming up in September.

Regards and Blessings

Sharon at

Jane D. said...

what a beautiful place, I want to go there! Thanks for sharing this story Susanne x.


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