I don’t know if you will remember me. Our children were in the same class at City of Lakes Waldorf in the seventh grade. My son is Gabriel (Gabe). You might remember him more than you would remember me. He was the lion in the “Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” school play. (A very auspicious part.) We spoke briefly at that event. It doesn’t really matter.
The reason I am writing is that I was listening to your interview today with Bill McKibben and heard your invitation for listeners to send in thoughts, images etc regarding “Possession of and care of the land.”
I am working on the design of a home with a wonderful couple that owns a pristine 250-acre valley in Wisconsin. They have owned and cared for the land for many years. They have planted trees, managed the watershed, gardened and harvested from the land in their valley. They both derive a deep spiritual connection from living there. (He is there full time as he is largely retired. She lives in Minneapolis during the week working as the CEO of a major local corporation but spends every weekend on the land.) We are working on a home which is to be built on the north face of the valley looking over 180 degrees from sunrise to sunset. The home is to be built largely form materials harvested from the site. The stone foundation and fireplace will be built from the crumbled foundation of an old barn on site. This stone was cleared form the land for farming over a hundred and fifty years ago. The framing, flooring, and cabinetry for the house will be made from reclaimed wood fro m the old barn and outbuildings. We will be using wood from managed forests at the valley’s edge and will replant new trees for each one harvested. The rain from the roof and the watershed behind the home will be captured and used for bathing and the care of a vineyard recently planted next to the building site.
The house itself will be sited to receive the summer and winter solstice sunrises. Each of these events has been carefully marked on the site this last year and we will be designing the home so that each year the morning sunrise on these days will carve its way through long slender openings in a massive fireplace stone wall to strike sculptures designed to celebrate the coming of the harvest and the return of the sun. The intent of the design is to connect the owners of the home with the land in a deep way. We hope the home will invite the celebration of life in our union with the natural world. The world from which we have emerged, and so often have mistakenly imagined ourselves separate from.
The attached images are ten pages from a notebook in which I have been keeping track of some of imagery for the house. The images are a sort of cartooned narrative. The design is still underway.
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