Some wonder why we keep putting out on social media when we've already reached our destination. Physically, the structure is complete. We are no longer fundraising, that hasn't been done since our first year. But we are still always open to anyone who wants to share creative ideas. We do continue to make MH1911 pieces, to keep some cash on hand for upkeep and also just because it's fun!
More importantly though we continue all of this because it's a good thing! Passion started this project and like all good things we must put the effort in to sustain the thriving rewards. Sure, we're thrilled and so happily satisfied the space is being used and appreciated as it is but you know, there is much more to it than that alone. In a world of so much struggle and negativity isn't it wonderful to share the simple things, love and positive nurturing energy in any way we can? That's what I'm thinking...
SPRING 2019 So it's that easy, state your good intention and watch it unfurl. Spring definitely arrived flourishing! Upon arrival it was exciting to find such generous bits dropped into our little thought box so early in the season. We love your beautiful comments and parts of yourself you leave here. The moment taken to do so is nice.
This was our maiden voyage on the new Pelee Islander II. The day allowed for just enough time to contemplate the new season ahead of us and to hang our Pussy Willow swags welcoming Spring. Of course we had to get a beach walk in too...
Our early focus was installing two interpretive boards we had prepared over the winter. The purpose of these is to introduce The Sanctuary to tourists as they visit the Island, hoping they have a chance to enjoy the space. The larger one is displayed at The Winery Pavilion along with an antique canvas farm belt found on site during the take down. We plan to share a little information on it's history also. The second hangs on the wall in Stone House Restaurant at West Dock. This one is mounted on a cupboard door from the kitchen of the old Mission Hall.
We're pretty happy with them!
Spring work was light this year, only gardening and shining the windows. Everything was greening up and leafing out quickly. We watched as the Island came alive...
Then the rains came, it rained and rained and rained. The Winery couldn't get in with their big mower without tearing up the land. The delicate meadows turned into wild fields. We had to be patient. Thank goodness we had generous helpers come in with their own smaller equipment and keep the near areas clear looking nice for visitors. Thank you so much for caring, Zak and Bernie! All we could do was witness our gardens growth and roll with Mother Nature's moods. Our beautiful little Red Bud got its first pink blossoms, we were so proud!
We spread new Soulful Salvage pieces around the Island with tiny new cards also. Even managed to include a little map on the back. We love when the local businesses and B&B's tell guests about our special Island place. You could 'get a piece of it' at Stone House Mercantile, The Bakery and Pelee Island Artworks. We are grateful for each piece finding a home!
It's a pleasure to share display space with 'Pelee Island Copperworks' and to be able to have 'May You Know Joy' merchandise available for you. We're excited to include Adrienne's new book next season! Her work has such uncomplicated beautiful energy.
Enjoyed spending more time at Pelee Artworks this year. Met some lovely folks. Did you know they have over one hundred artists and artisans showing their work there! Katherine Roth who does fascinating encaustic paintings generously donated two pieces to The Mission Hall Project! She did these on salvage boards from the Mission. What a blessing to know her! Come see some of her other creations on The Island.
'Sunrise at Fish Point' 'A Pelee Sunset'
SUMMER was full of beautiful surprises and pleasures! Could this season's wreaths be my most favourite yet? Ruth's driftwood work simply hung by delicate lavender tulle. Gentle perfection.
The grounds stayed wet well into the Summer but we discovered joy in the overgrown meadow and peace in the full, still waters of the pond. Thank you guys for cutting a path to it!
Eventually the Summer sun won over and dried everything up. This gave way to bright Lavender and newly seeded Buckwheat bursting in delicate white flowers. Most unexpected though was our Swamp Rose, she shows up one day all dressed up in layers of pink with little yellow accents. She shone like this for probably two months gracing the trellis with her beauty. She's all about love and gratitude! Oh what a treat, as I wasn't expecting her arrival for another year yet. Next year should be stunning as now I know not to prune the canes until she is done flowering.
Along with the peaceful norm of individuals coming and going at The Sanctuary, there's an awareness of serendipity that often occurs. Small gatherings are always special, a safe comfortable place for good conversation or quiet time. An attraction for artists, poets, photographers, seekers, connections made... We had the pleasure of witnessing a boutique film company capture the producers vision on site. We anticipate and trust the end result knowing he was enchanted with the atmosphere.
The Island is a magical place. You see it in the light. You see it in the little sacred, intuitive, nature inspired offerings left behind in The Sanctuary. Prayers for healing, memories of loved ones...
While out exploring, if you come across Ruggles Run, you have found The Sanctuary. This begins the other or west end of Ruggles Run, sitting right on top of a bridge. A road less traveled, it's a little quirky, only running between and connecting Center Dyke and Henderson. Probably not really a road as much as a lane but none the less a favourite path of mine to choose. Be sure to go slow, taking in all the wonderful nothingness, rows on rows of vineyards on your left and wide open fields on your right You may even be lucky enough to see a Bald Eagle sailing on the breeze. You'll find yourself coming upon The Sanctuary from behind, at the east end of Ruggles.
Who knew we would discover the answer to an age old question! Why did the chicken cross the road? Well, to lay eggs in The Mission Hall's Sanctuary is apparently the answer! Yep, all Summer long, sacred eggs every day, first come, first serve. It was quite fun really seeing them come and go. The neighbours on Henderson had free rangers who clearly felt comfort here the same as the rest of us. Initially there was worry about them being messy but they were very respectful of the space. Felt like a little St.Francis energy at play.
Summer's surprises continued. Received a little tip from an Island peep one day that two musicians from The Scarab Club of Detroit were stopping by to explore the acoustics. Got there just in time to listen, it was glorious! They loved it too, they'll be back, more to come on that...
The Mission Hall Sanctuary blessed its first bride and groom! It was simply beautiful, where else can your dog help escort you into your wedding ceremony? The glowing bride was an Island girl with memories of playing in the old deserted Mission.
We finished off the season hosting a little pop-up acoustic afternoon show. Just a guy and his guitar with a great voice! It was blind faith that led to Ken Williams performing. Then to find out it was his first time in a long while since he had played to an audience. It was lovely, meant to be!
FALL arrived much too soon. I never feel ready to let Summertime go...
When I look back on these pages, I feel grateful for the wonderful seasons we've experienced, for the humbling awareness of how much this is a natural giving place, for the fullness I feel from taking care of The Sanctuary and for the connections I have been blessed with as a result.
I think it's accurate to say intention most definitely opened to flourishing!
I look forward to where new relationships and inspired ideas take us...
art journaling by Bryn McFadden Dayman
Peace and Love be with You DECEMBER 2019
DECEMBER 2020 It's been a year since I journaled here. A year since I hung those white cotton tabbed wreaths and wished that peace and love be with you. I remember as I finished that wish, wondering already what my word would be for 2020. I intuitively thought CALM, that would be my word! Looking back on 2020 and even now still, I feel incredibly grateful for the ability to remain calm even in the face of adversity.
The new year started with a mind full of ideas and projects to work on. But you know what they say about those best laid plans... Instead I found myself bombarded with too much knocking on heaven's door. A loved one's sudden life changing trauma followed by accompanying my mother, then a dear friend in their dying. This all just as Covid became a clear reality here in North America. At times I was keenly aware of the fine line between calm and unstrung. Life as we know it changed for everyone. The world and each of our own private worlds became unstable.
The Island held its own as seasons came and went. Some were kept away from their beloved Pelee while others explored The Island for the first time, enticed by the appeal of a safer destination. Neighbors and friends are missed while we do what we can to help each other out. It has been a time to adapt, an opportunity to evolve and thrive amidst the struggle and changes.
'Life is not perfect but I'll always claim that it is still incredibly beautiful even in all its pain and suffering. The markings on our hearts provide opportunity for growth of our souls.' These are the beginning words I spoke at my mother's celebration of life.
As I write now a friend happened to very timely share the prose, 'Desiderata'. I pull from it the line,' Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune'. Ahhhh, perfection! This is why we sit quietly in places like The Sanctuary. Why we lose ourselves in the sounds of silence or nature's whisperings. We're practicing CALM. We're nurturing and strengthening our spirit to sustain us in times of trouble.
THE SANCTUARY served us well this year in her constant, humble, always there, never closed way. But her healing calming energy can be tapped into no matter where you are. Just close your eyes and feel her peaceful embrace.
As seasons moved on I focused on balancing hard times with hope and joy, leaning heavily into the hope and joy side. We have so much and so many to be grateful for. We're surrounded by beauty and we have bottomless reservoirs of perserverance. We got this people...
We are here, we've come full circle a year later, having just hung new Winter wreaths. This time with stars as a reminder to shine our light on the world.
I'm looking forward to 2021. Excited to witness how long lingering ideas will open after this heavy year of change... The Island's magic is growing stronger, I feel good things coming. Let's all carry CALM into 2021.
Wishing a MERRY Christmas and a HAPPY New Year along with much HOPE and JOY for everyone!
'Go placidly amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence'. first line of 'Desiderata'