Nature and Music at Rosario Resort and Spa

For part of our recent visit to the San Juan Islands, we stayed at the Rosario Resort and Spa. I had expected it to be nice, but I wasn’t prepared to feel the richness of its history.

Shipbuilder Robert Moran was a successful businessman, but was not immune to the stressors that came along with it. After falling ill and being given just a couple of years to live, Moran purchased 7,000 acres to build a home on the remote Orcas Island. Fortunately for him it was the right call; he enjoyed nearly 40 more years there.

It’s interesting that we see this pattern time and time again…people deciding they’ve had enough and checking out of the harried 9 to 5 world to refocus on the important things. His strategy worked.

Let that be a lesson to us.

Built in the early 1900’s, Rosario is filled with curiosities and craftsmanship. From the lighting to the intricately laid parquet flooring, the arts and crafts style home is a showcase of fine details.

In addition to his love of architecture and design, Moran also loved nature. The estate is surrounded by natural beauty. The meandering pathways pull you in, and the songbirds invite you into their tranquil retreat. It’s not at all surprising that Moran was able to recover from his illness here.

During our visit, the maples had begun to flash their colorful leaves, peppering everything beneath them. And the crisp, fall winds helped them paint their mosaic. Nature’s art is free of perfection, precision, and pretension. It’s beautifully chaotic.

The music room was equally stunning. The two-story pipe organ commanded the attention of guests with its deep, haunting chords, shaking not only my entire body but also the walls and floors beneath me.

Our stay at Rosario reminded me of the important things – those things that we often push to the side because they don’t fit into our task-filled schedules. We become bound to timelines and expectations to the point that we forget why we’re doing it in the first place. While most of us cannot afford a 7,000-acre oasis, we can absolutely take a step back periodically to refocus and rejuvenate our spirit. We can say “Enough!” to our self-imposed stresses and just breath.

Solitude, nature and music are not luxuries. They are essential for our health and well-being.