Over two years ago, it became apparent that we needed a place for people to stay who were in deep transition. They may be going through a divorce, a Saturn Return, whatever the label, they needed a place where they could step fully into it, and be held with ceremony, community, healing and simple nutrition.Re-vamping a run down shed was to begin, but we ran into our own healing crisis as Jerry needed open heart surgery, due to a genetic issue ASAP, so the plans were set aside as we focused on his return to health.Then this summer a dear friend Annie McCleary asked if she could die here after being diagnosed with a terminal cancer. She was coming for healing work during her strong days and quickly I was going to her, as her strength waned. She was welcome to die here, but decided to stay in her cozy home, when it became evident her time here was short. She insisted on paying me for her healing which I didn’t want. So this money, and a donation from her, are in an account to support someone who is dying, to come here for peace and support in the process. Annie also gave permission to call this Death Lodge, Annie’s Cottage. We are fortunate to live in an area rich with healers, therapists, musicians, death doulas, all who will be called on as needed. Annie left us all with the gift of showing us how to die well in peace, surrounded by love. Loved ones, hospice, nurses, doctors will all be welcome here, and a necessary part of the team.This cozy cabin is without a kitchen and bathroom but quests are welcome to use facilities in the house which is about 10 steps away. It will also be available to the public, students and clients to rent, short term. In the Spring, Echinacea will be transplanted all around in memory to Annie. The woods surrounding this place are very generous and well loved, and gentle, and expand into the Rail Trail system. There is a roaring waterfall across the road. Bald Eagle, hawks and ravens fly freely through this valley. Bear visits occasionally and owls sing to us at night.Yesterday we cleared and blessed the space and in the winter, when we are in the Northern energy, we will hold an community open house.
When we started on this project, I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle it. I knew that this would play an important role, but wasn’t sure what that might be. I went through many changes myself from the surgery and recovery, followed this summer by finally retiring. That gave me the time, and energy to fully commit to this, and I could feel the ancestors helping guide me. In particular, when I wasn’t sure how to do something (or whether I even could), I could remember how my father might have done it, and somehow manage it. The further along the project went, the more comfortable and warm it became. Now that it is finished, it has a huge comforting and inviting feeling within it. I am very grateful that whoever guided me allowed this to turn out so well, and also very humbled that I was allowed to do this. Speaking for myself, my hope is that people can come together here and communicate with one another respectfully, both speaking and listening..