Full House Farm

Site Map ] Print View ]


Home | Welcome | About | Programs with Horses | Vacation Rentals | Farm Tours | Gallery | Contact | Links


Full House Farm: Harmony With Horses

Philosophy History Articles
"The lasting revolution comes from deep change in ourselves."
Anais Nin
 
Click photos to enlarge. Back to return.
Janice Drescher with Missy
Janice Drescher with Missy
Belinda Stewart-Cox
Belinda Stewart-Cox
Dolores La Chapelle
Dolores La Chapelle
Carolyn Ellis with Rowdy
Carolyn Ellis with Rowdy
Christine in her garden
Christine in her garden
Timber Cove coastline
Timber Cove coastline
Dave with our sunset picnic
Dave with our sunset picnic
Dave and Christine at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg
Dave and Christine at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg
Tour group apple picking with the sheep
Tour group apple picking with the sheep
View of the McKenzie River from the main house
View of the McKenzie River from the main house
Eyla, Edward, Alex, Taylor, Christine & Dave
Eyla, Edward, Alex, Taylor, Christine & Dave
 
About Us

About Christine Cole & Full House Farm | History | Philosophy | Articles | Elephant Sanctuaries/Training | T’women Productions

Annual Letter 2007
Pioneering the New Year

Pioneering the New Year“I am a pioneer, discovering what isn’t yet, inspired by the moment.” This is the phrase that evolved out of a conversation with my good friend and business associate, Janice Drescher. Of course, this is one heck of a loaded sentence, designed to pack a punch for me, compliments of Janice’s coaching expertise and my willingness to play.

I do feel like a pioneer sometimes, although I am ever so grateful not to be wearing heavy skirts and corsets. The territory I explore is mostly that of the mind and spirit but, as with all matters along those lines, it eventually ends up on my path as a reality of some sort. And, as I mention almost every year, I can choose to point out all the thorny places to avoid or scary places of which to be wary. However, it is way easier to pick out the places during the past year where the path opened up and beckoned. There were more of those and they were fun.

So, having just returned home from my weekly massage with one of the best on the planet, Susan McDaniel, I am ready to tell you about some of those “paths.” I started this year in Thailand, second time there, leaving right after the first of the year. The best thing about that trip was getting to know Belinda Stewart-Cox better. Belinda is a beautiful and brilliant author and elephant researcher whom I met on my first trip to Thailand in 2006. I look forward to learning oodles about elephants from her, not to mention something of Thailand since she has been researching there for over 30 years, even though her home is in England.

Before I left for Thailand, I had a very strong urge to write to a mentor of mine, Dolores La Chapelle, whom I had not corresponded with for several years. I sent Dolores a card telling her how much she meant to me, how tattered her book, Sacred Land Sacred Sex: Rapture of the Deep, was because when I first moved to Sonoma County in 1994 I had carried it around everywhere with me. Apparently, this card I sent before going to Thailand reached Dolores only a short time before she died on January 22, 2007. Word got back to me that it meant so much to her that she made copies of it to give to her friends and visitors. This is such a strong reminder to me of how powerful our appreciation of each other can be.

I do so much appreciate those who enthusiastically end up at my pasture gate; Carolyn, Michael, Nancy, Cami, Marilyn, Melissa, Cheryl, Paula and all the wide-eyed jumpin-out-of-their-skins kids with mostly envious-of-their-children parents in tow. Some of my visitors come from hundreds or thousands of miles away like Cathy, Sandy, and Susanna or Lawrence and his group. I even had the opportunity to play with the horses and people in Thailand. In Kanchanaburi (Bridge over the River Kwae) I played with Mai Puki who owns one of the few horse stables in the country, the Kwae Horse Camp. I believe Mai Puki, who is in her 60s, is the first person in Thailand to venture into the spatial territory about which I coach. She is a pioneer, too! In fact, she wrote me just the other day to tell me of some pretty special bonding of humans and horses happening at her barn so may thousands of miles from here, and to say she was excited to have me return.

I am quite sure I will go back to Thailand, although probably not until late 2008. With all my pioneering I have found myself craving two seemingly contrasting things. I vacillate between developing a fine feathered nest for myself here, complete with a new Art and Tea Room leading into my beautiful garden for entertaining and inspiring visitors, and spreading my wings to fly away to coastal paradises (which, by the way, means something like a yurt on a cliff and a hot tub in which to soak.) In fact, I created a lovely collage the other day by cutting pictures out of magazines. Almost the entire collage was of nature landscapes and solitary people in nature. However, there were some pictures that reflected my dreams on the coast. One was of an octagon perched on a cliff, waves crashing dramatically on the rocks below. The octagon was shrouded in a gentle mist and the orange glow of the setting sun reflected off the northern-most facing window pane shooting a persimmon beam of light down and across the churning surf. I took time out from my collage of dreams to show Dave this picture in particular. I told him this was such a perfect representation of what I have always wanted.

In response to this, Dave arranged for a trip to Timber Cove Inn, a huge log lodge about one hour north of where we live here in Sebastopol. We stayed one night, sipping wine and nibbling on cheese as the sun set over winter seas. Our room hung over the cliffs and provided me with my delicious hot tub experience as well as the sound of crashing waves that I so love. No, this did not satiate my craving, but only served to fuel the fires.

One week later I arranged for a real estate agent, Tim McKusick, to show us around Timber Cove. Tim lives in Timber Cove and knows it intimately. He showed us a wide variety of property, the last one of the day being just north of the Inn where Dave and I had stayed. We parked our cars and meandered down onto the point that was for sale. Tim proudly allowed as how we would have sunset views, his arm extended out towards the open ocean. I turned away from the westward view, though, to look down the coastline and there full in my sight was the octagon!

The ways our dreams show up are myriad and the means by which they do so are entwined so incredibly with every other dream held by all. There is no way I could have orchestrated such a perfect unfolding of events to have found myself on the cliff from which my favorite picture was taken. I had no idea where that octagon was when I cut it out of the magazine. All I knew was it felt really good to look at it. Could it be as simple as that; identifying what feels good and leaving the rest up to faith? Is that what pioneering is?

Most of the time I consider what I want on a much smaller scale, though, like “I want to participate in Weekend Along the Farm Trails in September”. Then, I get out there and start forging. The journey seems tangible and doable when it is on that scale. It is an idea and I just start moving with it. Of course, sometimes it turns out to be much bigger than I thought it would be (as it was in the case of WAFT), but no less doable and a ton of fun if I can keep pace with it. As it was, this event inspired Dave to focus whole-heartedly on creating my Art & Tea Room, which was a dream I had been holding for about five years. WAFT helped to establish clear guidelines for John (our caretaker) to neaten up the place, brought together my best friends as volunteers, allowed me to show off my sister’s (Karen Hammer) watercolors and my good friend Chris Moore’s oil paintings, provided a way for Dave and my children to participate in a big way (Eyla managed the Art & Tea room, selling veggies, baked goods, and art. Alex worked in tandem with Dave to keep traffic under control) and moved me to bake, frame, weed, organize, and present Full House Farm like never before. Our reward? Over 400 people showed up for the event and it ran smooth as glass. Yippee!

Some dreams grow like branches off the main trunk and, like the gnarled oaks here in California, the branches can get very heavy, almost like a whole other tree. Mid-way through the year I became partners in a purchase of The Blueberry Patch, a beautiful blueberry farm on the McKenzie River that has been in our family for generations, but owned by “the older generation” until now. It is in Leaburg, Oregon and you can even rent the main house on the property during certain months of the year if you are interested. Just go to http://www.vrbo.com/154002 to see pictures and read about it. My partners are my five siblings, my cousin, and my mother. There are eight of us. Need I say more about heavy branches? Anyway, I have learned more about my family and myself in relationship to my family in the past six months than my entire life.

But that is what life is all about. It is about going places you have never before been, contemplating choices, deciding on what path to take at the fork, allowing for risk and vulnerability to experience some degree of expansion even while aware of the moment. It is about those we meet along the way and those we say good-bye to for now. TrailNo matter what we consider real, though, that realness is only as solid as our belief in it. My conversations with Dolores, more often now than before she died, are as real as the breath of my horse was on my cheek this morning. My house on the coast is as real as the manure I picked up hours ago. My love and appreciation of you for being in my life is as real as the rain falling from the sky right now. The best part is that we get to choose what is real to us, our choices so boundless that they disappear into the distance the way a trail disappears beyond the horizon. Just the same, we know if we keep moving the trail will keep appearing. It is inevitable and dependable, the only variable being which path we want to take.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2004--2012 Full House Farm
Photos Copyright © 2004 Barbara Bourne Photography, all rights reserved.
Webmaster: GraphicSmith.

^Top of Page^