Moments that take our breath away…

944679_10200613095823365_968750882_nI’ve only been on retreat here on the Scarborough Bluffs for five days, but already I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to tear myself away when September rolls around. I find myself occasionally chatting with Doris (McCarthy) because of this extremely life-like portrait of her that hangs beside the living room window overlooking the lake here at Fool’s Paradise.  The neighbors are pretty quiet for the most part, but there’s so much wildlife activity outside the windows of “The Chapter House,” as Doris called her writing rotunda, that I have a hard time keeping my mind on the manuscript by times.  And I keep having to rush outside to take pictures.

Doris McCarthy, artist and creator of this awe-inspiring space.

Doris McCarthy, artist, writer and creator of this awe-inspiring space.

The view from up here on top of the Bluffs

The view from up here on top of the Bluffs

Fool's Paradise - a perfect reflection.

Fool’s Paradise – a perfect reflection.

Coywolf - if I see him going after the deer and her fawn, I may have to dash outside and do some serious hazing...

Coywolf – if I see him going after the deer and her fawn, or even the chubby groundhog, I may have to dash outside and do some serious hazing…




I am managing to get several writing hours in every day, although so far the story is growing, rather than being pared down… Thank you, Doris, for sharing your home with me (and providing a haven for all these creatures).



  9 comments for “Moments that take our breath away…

  1. August 8, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Sounds like you are having some breathtaking moments in Fools Paradise. Enjoy every moment!

    • August 11, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      Hi, Darlene – Indeed, I am. Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust people even brought a bike for me to use while I’m here! I’m getting lots of exercise as it’s about a 50-minute return hike to the store – a whole ‘nother kind of breathtaking:)

  2. August 8, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    It sounds absolutely wonderful, Jan. So glad you’re making progress with your manuscript. I’ll look forward to hearing all the details when you get back. 😀 No coyotes here!

    • August 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      Well, I’ll let you in on the details I can remember by September… Although I am keeping a “Thank-you, Doris” journal while I’m here:)

  3. mirkabreen
    August 10, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    You’ve landed in paradise…. Now the challenge is to take it with you.

    • August 11, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      You’re right, Mirka. The cool thing about Fool’s Paradise is that Doris designed, built a lot of it, built every single cupboard, storage closet, etc., and it’s just chock-full of her and her life. What a woman she must’ve been.

  4. Vijaya
    August 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Oh, how lovely! Mirka said it perfectly.

  5. August 10, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    What a perfect retreat and your photographs are breathtaking, too!

    • August 11, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks for reading, Marcia. Being in a beautiful, peaceful place really clears the mind for writing. I’m very lucky.

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