There are certain words that we all know, that we have a hard time defining. One of the words is “grace”. I have found several definitions: “simple elegance or refinement of movement or to do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one’s presence. Yet another definition is a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance. You may ask why the definition of this word is important to Grace Farms—because this venue encompasses all those definitions.
A friend and I recently visited New Canaan, Ct. to visit Philip Johnson’s The Glass House. I had done some research of the town to learn some interesting places in the area. Grace Farms was considered the second best location to visit after Johnson’s house. After our tour of the Glass house, we took Uber to Grace Farms. For me, it was one of the best experiences in my life.
There is a small sign on the road to Grace Farms, which, if you are not looking for it, you will miss. This beautiful place is in an expensive residential area. There is a gate you enter and there is a security guard there. The car went up a curving road where we saw these two large stable- looking buildings. One of the buildings was the visitor center, where you are able to get a little information about the space. I had the opportunity to speak with the manager. During our conversation I learned it all began.
It has been opened less than 5 years and it is a consortium of about 20 New Canaan families who created the Grace Farms Foundation. He also mentioned that Sanaa, a Japanese architectural firm designed it. For New Yorkers, they were the designer of the New Museum Contemporary Art. Behind the desk were some very interesting pieces; one was a tea set which I admired quite a bit. As it turns out, it was designed by Sanaa. It was quite beautiful and simple and very expensive.
We left the visitor’s center to begin our exploration. As we walked out to the grounds, the buildings are connected by a sidewalk, but also a roof. My first impression was that of an ocean wave. At this point I knew this was a very special place and one that I would want to return.
There is a path you may want to follow which takes you from the bottom of the hill to the top where you will have a great view from their auditorium. There restaurant where we ate, you can order wholesome delicious foods. I had a cookie that I had to go for a second one!
Another compound is the tea room, where you can enjoy delicious tea and learn about them as the preparer explains to you the benefits of each tea. It was almost like being in a Chinese tea house.
One of the things that many meditative places have is a library where you can choose books on meditation, faith, peace and much more. It is quiet, peaceful and serene. You can also sit at one of the tables and look out at the beautiful surroundings. The chairs are also quite unique.
I ventured into the tunnel where there was a Chinese instrumental meditative musical note playing. It was on a loop as you walked further into this tunnel. It almost felt as though you were in a cocoon of semi-light and the two sounds you know are your heart beat and the recording.
As I continued to walk, I discovered one of the buildings had a basketball court and there were quite a few persons enjoying a game on the court.
If you are interested in hiking, there is a trail on the grounds for your enjoyment.
If you are in New Canaan, Ct. do visit this wonderful place for when you leave it, you will have had an incredible experience with Sanaa’s architecture, the outdoors, and so much more.