The Second Half of Life: A Creative Retreat for a Time of Deep Change

with Joanne Nelson
September 12-15, 2024 (Thursday through Sunday)

The second half of life is not defined by a particular age. Rather, it begins in a moment brought about by all manner of life changing circumstances–a time when we recognize the need to reconsider who we are apart from occupations, daily duties, and our past.
Psychologist James Hollis writes that the second half of life is a time of deep change. A time when people, “for whatever reason—death of a partner, end of marriage, illness, retirement, whatever—are obliged to radically consider who they are apart from their history, their roles, and their commitments.”
Through writing, discussion, creative play, and mindfulness exercises we’ll create our own unique paths to the second half of life. Join us for this program of exploration during which we’ll gently uncover the transformative possibilities inherent in times of deep change.

Time to share written or other creative work is available, but never required!


Joanne is amazing! She creates a comfortable space for people to reflect, open, learn, and explore.

Retreat Participant June 2023

Joanne Nelson

Joanne Nelson

Retreat Facilitator

Joanne Nelson is the author of the collection, My Neglected Gods and the memoir, This Is How We Leave. Her writing appears in numerous journals and anthologies. She won the Hal Prize in nonfiction, as well as other literary awards, and has contributed to Lake Effect on Milwaukee’s NPR station. Nelson lives in Hartland, Wisconsin, where she teaches at the university level and leads community programs. She gives presentations on mindfulness and writing, creativity, and the second half of life. Nelson holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, an MSSW from the University of WisconsinMadison, and is a certified meditation instructor. More information is available at

All Inclusive Retreat Pricing Options

Listed pricing includes all housing, meals, and program fee

Lodging Options:

Single Modern Hermitage: $870
Single Room in Main Building: $770
Single Cabin Bedroom: $618
Single Rustic Hermitage: $770

Please contact our main office to make your reservation for any of the following (715-267-7507 or

        • Shared lodging options
        • Camping
        • To reduce the number of meals you would like
        • If you need to make special arrangements
        • If you would like to reserve pet friendly accommodations

Modern Hermitage: One room cottage with anywhere from 1 to 3 beds; living area; kitchenette; bathroom and shower.
Cabin Bedroom: A private bedroom with 1 to 2 beds located on the property in a shared cabin; shared kitchenette; shared bathroom and shower.
Guest Room-Main Building: A private bedroom with 2 beds and private bathroom located in the main building.
Rustic Hermitage: One room cottage with anywhere from 1 to 2 beds; living area. No bathroom or kitchenette. Modern bath and shower facilities are located on the property.