Montreat College in Montreat, NC is where I found myself! If you’ve seen either the 1955 or 1995 versions of the movie, SABRINA, you’ll understand what I mean. In the movie, Paris was where Sabrina found herself. For me, it was Montreat!
Even though I was only there for 2 years, they were 2 of the best years! I didn’t have anyone to answer to, no one to please, no one knew me when I got there, and I could truly be myself! Even though “home” was over 11 hrs away, I didn’t get that homesick. The people and the entire beautiful setting made me feel I was at a youth camp that wouldn’t end! It was wonderful! Almost anywhere I was on campus I could hear water flowing from the creeks. There is a freshness in the air, and excitement of what is going to happen next!
I’ve heard it said that Montreat got its name from the words “mountain retreat”, and if you say those two words fast enough you end up with “Montreat”! The rock archway that leads you INTO Montreat is also the only way OUT of Montreat! And from the moment you drive through the archway you feel you are in a mountain retreat!
Montreat was the place where I got to see all 4 seasons for the first time! At the age of 19, it was my first time ever seeing snow! I also witnessed my first double rainbow. I was coming back from dinner one weekend night, and climbing the stairs up towards Gaither Hall I looked up and couldn’t believe it! God is so awesome, and His presence was felt all the more there!
Weekends at Montreat were quiet. Over half of the campus left on weekends, but I was one of the few that had the privilege of staying, and I mean privileged! There’s a lot to be said for peace and quiet. It allowed me to “Be still and know that He is God”.
The few times that I did get a ride off campus with friends, I honestly couldn’t wait to get back! And driving under the rock archway confirmed for me, I was home! The friends I made there were some of the dearest, and I’m sure some have felt the magic of Montreat as I have!