Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Children, Nature and the Belvedere Potential

I have said I am a somatic practitioner (massage, craniosacral therapy) and I specialize in working with families, children, and babies. I have a lot of somatic skills and can work with just about anything that comes in my treatment room (Jim, would you call this Shameless Self Promotion? Feels a little strange to be explaining myself). But another part of my work is working in nature with children and families.

When I first met Bob Hauser, he said that he had a vision of creating a neighborhood where children are inspired to get off the couch and out into nature. It was a vision of returning childhood to what he remembered it was, where children played outside. He said his children are his inspiration. Well, I just had to hold onto the table because I thought I was going to fall out of my seat. Creating programs for families and children so they can connect to nature is part of my mission here, and I have the perfect place to do it in the Zone. You can see about my work with children on in the slide show on my old website. (My new website coming soon).

I am planning several nature based programs for Belvedere, one called the Green Hour that will start in the fall with nature games, songs, and stories on the Village Green. More to come for sure, as things build and blossom. Just after I move in, I am going to spend time with my favorite all time nature practitioner Martin Maudsley from the UK. He has created a movement in the UK called Playwork. See about the conference.

Meet Martin Maudsley and the programs that inspire me

Hear a recent BBC podcast about children and nature.

I am trained by a lot of different naturalists. But more about that later!

Belvedere amenities, the trails and the Zone, the outdoors spaces and its values include this very basic and necessary part of being outside, connected to nature and to other people. Bravo Bob Hauser! Let's make this come true.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Felt Sense of Home

We are nearing move in date. It has been scheduled for this Thursday, with some things starting to be moved in on Wednesday. The house shines like a jewel, and John Garvey of Piedmont Landscaping is installing the beginnings of my permaculture garden today. I will be making additions to the garden starting immediately. So me, the yard person, the land person, the one who connects with the vision of Belvedere has fallen in love with house. Never in my life did I expect to live in such a place. It is the smallest house on the block, but it feels like a palace to me.

Bret and I have not blogged much these past weeks, engaging with summertime and the kids in a big way. I received a membership to Fairview Swim Club with my home purchase, and we have been at the pool. But we have both participated highly in the house construction, going everyday to observe and make finishing touches. With each trip to the house and the land, I notice a rise in anticipation and a range of sensations that mostly revolved around a familiar ache. Every tree now becomes familiar, and the vision of the sun on the grass on the turn around the bend to Belvedere creates a cascade of feelings.

I am a somatic therapist, and I know how consciousness includes the body in memory and the present moment, co-creating with the mind, a person's reality. I am also a tracker. So, the exercise of creating a home to the finest detail has been excruciatingly delightful, a combination of arousal, hope, love, and fear. I track the sensations in my own self, following them down to ends of the nerves as I track the red fox to the Zone.

One thing about home, is that there can be some pieces out of my control. Well, more than some pieces, maybe life in general. I have certainly given this my all but am old enough now to know that things don't always turn out as planned. So, here are some answers to a few questions people have been asking:

How's it going? It's been great, are you kidding? Yes, the downturn in the economy has slowed things down but this has been an awesome experience.

What's it like, being the first home owner? We are little concerned about being there with no other families on the land, surrounded by empty homes. But other families are coming in soon. Two more in August, and another in September, and then more coming during the year. I am looking forward to meeting them.

But aren't you going to be living in a construction zone? What is that going to be like for you? I have to say that with this project, I feel like I have inherited a bunch of brothers. From the house painter on the ladder to that little guy who has been painting my interior to Josh Goldschmidt who is owns Churchill to Bill Hammerick who wrote my mortgage to the guys toting bricks, and the electricians who patiently rewired my great room after I took out the office there, to John Garvey who did not know what to think of me when I said NO to holly bushes, please, I want something different (who knows what he REALLY thinks of me) to Greg Slater who helps immensely with every detail, to Jim Duncan who actually opened the door and introduced me to Belvedere to all those guys at Stonehaus, wow, it has been great. And I think of them when I enter Belvedere and I am so grateful. AND there are sisters on the path, Clay Green of Churchill has also endured interior changes and dealing with the different personalities of Bret and I (who really wants to be between a husband and wife in the homebuilding process? That's Clay Green for you), and of course, the ultimate Fierce Woman, Pam who is Stonehaus's supervisor on site.

Aren't Hauser and Churchill and Stonehaus all going broke and filing for bankruptcy? NO. They are simply reorganizing and downsizing. This has been a difficult time for everyone, but sales are still happening in Belvedere. This project has get loads of traffic on open house days, Thursday through Sunday. It gets loads of traffic other days, too. Lots of people come walking through to see the house sites. And we'll permanently be there soon, sitting on the front porch, sipping our ice tea! Feel free to say hi if you see us there, and ask more questions!

Okay, more answers to questions later. Move in day is coming and I have got some packing to do. Also, I am jonesing for the Zone. The forest is calling my name.

See ya!