April 13, 2014
Hey City Dwellers; Merry meet!
Michelle here, sending lots of love and light! I’ve just ended my second week at Medicine Wheel and many things happened in the first two weeks. In the first post I wanted to give some idea of a work exchangers (my) life and the general layout of Medicine Wheel. Most people who now rent or buy here actually started out as exchangers at Medicine Wheel. This neighborhood needs the most work.
I am continuously amazed at the way Spirit directs our path even we’re not aware, especially when we’re not aware. Every Tuesday morning, Earthaven has Coffee and Trade. It is a gathering in which the community can buy or trade wares. On my first Tuesday I went to Coffee and Trade. A woman walked past me who was noticeable because of her height. She looked at me, walked away, walked back past me and looked at me again. I had the impression that she was lesbian. Then I thought maybe it’s because I’m African American. It’s my understanding that there are 2 other African American women here but I haven’t seen them. She then came over and sat down. She said, “Hi, I’m Corinna.” I asked, “Woods?” she said she was and I explained how I knew her name.
I heard about Earthaven over a year ago when I began looking on line for the ways of wise women. I was directed to The Southeast Wise Woman conference in Asheville, NC. The host (you guessed it) is Corinna Woods who lives at Earthaven Eco village. I read about Earthaven, Red Moon herbs and The Red Tent Movement and was intrigued, but my priority was “wise women”. Due to the challenges I was experiencing at that time: the lumpectomy, having to leave my apartment and the radiation treatment, Earthaven and the conference was pushed to the back of my mind. I told her that she was the reason I knew about Earthaven.
I really had forgotten about the conference, and Corinna never comes to Coffee and Trade. Spirit directed all of it. I told her my story and how I got here. And for some reason, I started crying and she had tears in her eyes as well. She said she wanted me to apply for The Woman of Color scholarship for the Spring immersion at the end of May. I gave her my email address and she forwarded it to the person who handles it. She hugged me and it had a healing effect. I saw her again that night at Potluck and at a dance on Friday. We spoke both times and I told her that I felt she had a healing touch.
I must tell you about another serendipitous happening. There are many neighborhoods in Earthaven. One of them is called Village Terrace (Corinna lives there). There is a shared kitchen but the residents are responsible for their own meals and usually don’t eat together; there is no feeling of community. One of the residents is a young woman named Hannah that I met earlier when she visited Medicine Wheel. Because of the lack of community in VT, she now eats with us.
On Wednesday after dinner, we talked for a while. I told her that I was leaving Medicine Wheel at the end of May and wanted to find a room to rent in Asheville. Hannah has many friends in Asheville and said she would ask around. She told me about an inexpensive hostel as well. She invited me to come see the room she rents in VT because I hadn’t seen inside any other neighborhoods. On Thursday I went over to visit and the first thing she said to me was that her mom, who lives in Black Mountain, was moving to an intentional community 10 minutes away from Asheville. Hannah’s mom has Parkinson’s disease and needs someone to stay with her at night in case she needs her medicine. She also needs someone to drive her to doctor appointments and the grocery.
Now get this: She was going to pay someone to do it but has invited me to stay in the house rent free in exchange for these services. She didn’t need anyone until July but when Hannah called to tell her about me, she asked if she could possibly use me in June. Her mom said she now needed someone the first of June. Hannah was so excited and said she didn’t know why she didn’t think of it the night before. Things happen when they are meant to happen. Hannah’s mom is part of a women’s poetry group and I too write poetry. She is about my age and Hannah feels we will get along extremely well. Spirit continues to amaze me daily.
Last week one of the work exchangers’ mom, dad and four brothers came to visit. They are relocating from Iowa to Raleigh, NC. The dad left to look for a house and the mom and four children were here for about five days. The mom, Lisa, is 52 and has had 12 children. She looks amazing. The children range from 35 to 10. There were 10 boys and 2 girls. One of the sons died in a car accident, so there are now eleven. The four boys with her were 16, 14, 12 and 10. The 16 and 14 year old are still here. These children are extremely bright, can cook and are willing and eager to help with any chore. Lisa told me that meeting me was one of the reasons she felt she was here. Hearing about my gypsy journey at my age, gave her hope that there was life after 12 children. Serendipity at work again.
On Sunday, April 6, we held a memorial service for Patricia’s mom. Patricia is one of the owners. Her mom lived here for a while and actually invested close to $400,000 in the house. We sang some of her mother’s favorite songs, people who knew her gave reflections and we planted an apple tree in her honor. We all threw handfuls of dirt in the hole. We ended with a song and a toast of wine to Fran. It was a very moving ceremony. Fran’s favorite color was pink. I brought a pink orchard with me to keep in my room. Patricia admired it when I brought it here. I told her that I would plant it in the soil around Fran’s tree. Serendipity, it seems, is the theme for this post. Following the inner guidance will never lead us astray.
Until next Sunday, Merry part and merry meet again.
Gypsi Mama Michelle