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A Year in the Life, Living on the Edge of the Redwood Forest

Breathing new life into a very old place

By Lori Suzanne Holetz

In a sleepy little hollow of the Redwood forest along the Central Californian Coast, my ancestors came, were given a land grant by the then President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, in 1876, and built the original cabin, which remains as the cozy golden kitchen to this day. The last thirty or so years have not been kind to the 137-year-old gal, and by January of 2012, that year of “doom,” she had all but slid down the hillside, a broken-down pile of rotting wood, right into Notley Creek, named after my great great-grandmother, Francis. Oh, she must be turning in her grave – which, by and by the way, resides only a short drive down the highway at the entrance to Santa Cruz. Word is, that cemetery is the most notoriously haunted around. They are all there, so I know they are all watching as well!

Oh, this year was going to get off with a glorious BANG! The dear cabin had become a cold, dark, and wet hole in the family and the sincere lack of the ability of anyone in the family to give it the time and care it so desperately needed after 30 years of sitting alone and vacant – just to get it a tiny bit warm and dry again – had brought the whole grand history of our ancestral heritage into a complete disgrace. I arrived back at the cabin on that New Year’s Day after two solid months of my inner intuition screaming at me through the busy ‘holly daze’: “GO TO THE CABIN! SOMETHING IS WROING! GO TO THE CABIN!” as to not be ignored.

So, we took that glorious scenic drive along Skyline, on the crest of the Costal Redwood Forest, from Marin County to Santa Cruz on what appeared to be the most glorious, gorgeous day of crisp winter air and brilliant shining sunshine. Good thing, because I was going to need it. Breathe deep and brace yourself!

Upon entering the kitchen (through the hallway front window no less, because I knew I could get in through that window, as I had been the one to nail it shut the last time I had been here – breaking into my own cabin like a common thief, as the whole key situation was a mind-boggle in and of itself), I began to survey the damage. For the first time in my life, my mouth literally dropped open with astonishment and horror. There were very large chopping knives thrust into all the door and window jambs. All furniture had been dismantled, complete with the plugs cut off the lamp cords. The kitchen windows had been spray painted out in a thick and sickening shade of brown (that did not match the kitchen decor, of further insult!), and there was now installed in the bedroom an alter to Hitler complete with its own set of very pointy knives of sorts.

After I recovered from the body feeling that coursed through me upon this discovery that I still can’t entirely describe, I drew in a deep breath of musty cold wet mold and mildew, rolled up my sleeves, and got right to work. This was an omen! And this was going to be the clean-up of all clean-ups. I had been working as an “industrial cleaner” in Marin, mostly multi-million-dollar homes, contractor clean-up with all the new, fancy surfaces and products. But here, there were no fancy surfaces, there were no surfaces near at all – they had pulled out the kitchen drawers and they were missing – presumed burned for firewood! This was going to get way down and dirty…for a long time to come. Good thing I had no idea what was coming down the road – I just wanted to cry as all the sweet childhood memories of summers spent here with Grammy and my cousins flooded back through the annals of time in my mind. This being the place where we always fell into the summer’s love, in love, we of the Summer of Love generation. I still have the hand-painted “Love” sign from the signpost up the road. So, this was to become the year where I brought back the Love to the cabin. More to come….

Lori Suzanne Holetz lives in her family’s restored 137-year-old cabin in Boulder Creek, CA with her beloved twin flame, Greg. She is a Shamanic Healer, mother of three, a designer/creator, writer, storyteller, and dreamer, and she maintains a private healing practice. She continues to explore many creative endeavors to foster healing for the Earth. Owner of One Tribe Spirit Publishing, she is the author of The Garden, a collection of reflective musings inspired by visits to a small garden, and A Journey of Heart and Mind: A Shamanic Awakening, Pathway into the Fulfillment of Spiritual Prophecy. Visit Lori’s blog: http://emanjahs-onetribespirit.blogspot.com

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