After this year’s Conference of the Wayshower, IIWP offered complimentary tours to Windermere Ranch from LA on Monday July 4th and Tuesday July 5th. Our entertaining (and quite loving) IIWP Volunteer Dave Wright was our tour guide and van driver. Peacemakers from around the world had a chance to see the Ranch, connect with the horses, llamas, sheep, and goats, and just be present in the peace of nature.
Below is an article from Dave about the tours, as well as testimonials from some of the participants. Enjoy, and we hope to see you at the Ranch soon! (For more info on visiting Windermere, just visit IIWP’s website at www.iiwp.org or contact us at email@example.com)
Being a tour guide has its advantages. Tips are one of them. But when the tips are scarce you have to suck it up and admit that the jokes maybe aren’t that good and your driving was suspect. Well I thought I drove well enough on the Windermere tours and some of my jokes I laughed at myself. But the tip jar remained empty and so I had to resort to that age old adage, ‘when the tips are down the loving gets going.’ Something like that. So I mustered up what loving an old guy like me can muster and I strolled into the Sheraton on Monday morning and there sat six of the highest Souls this side of Universal Studios. They all piled into the MSIA van not even asking if I had a driver’s license. It was the Fourth of July and we were setting out to have independent hearts, be a blessing to that magical ranch up there in the Santa Ynez Mountains, and well, have a good time. I think we did! Of course I’m easily amused.
We didn’t stop to pee on the way, so when we got to Lazy Acres health food store/community of sustenance searching Souls, the first question was, ‘Where’s the restrooms?’ And I wondered why the tips were lousy? We grabbed some sesame this and ezekiel that and headed on up to Windermere. We arrived at the entrance and someone in the second row called in the Light. I put the van in drive and we entered the ranch. I think the wheels came off the ground, but then you probably wouldn’t believe me. Uri and very pregnant Autumn said howdy and can you contribute to our private school fund for our new foal?
We ate lunch in the shade of Oak Glen by the barn and yes, restrooms (didn’t help the tips). I did get offered some sushi and chocolate so I guess I should stop whining. Robert Zack loaded up the back of the ranch pickup truck with some chaffhaye bags for seating, some umbrellas for rolling shade and enough water to keep us from blowing dust when we sneezed. We went to the ponds, Island and Pharaoh, and took in the utter peace of the water wheel, the gold fish and each others’ smiles. Some Souls hiked up to the peace pole and some of us just celebrated peace on a bench. In the shade.
Then we clamored back aboard the pickup express and headed down to the lower property. By then, we’d picked up some Spiritual hitchhikers from England and a few MSIA old timers we found wandering around in a state of cognitive dissidence and somehow transforming it into joy. “Hey, we’re into joy,” I thought so we found room and now I think we had 12 people just in the back of the truck. It was like a hot tub with no water. We sang a bit and found ourselves in the middle of the goats on Stagecoach Road. Casper, the llama, stood off a few feet away to double check we were all vegans and then upon some clever llama calling and a few grass pellets, came to Robert’s side like they’d rehearsed this act many times before. Casper towered over all of us and I think he wanted us all to take note. Robert is from New York so a llama with a little attitude doesn’t bother him any. We checked out the carvings in the rock alongside the road (1886 and HR) I told some people that it was JR but they said, ‘no Dave, it’s an H.’ There go the tips.
We made our way back to shade and some more water and then down to Quelin Rocks for a short hike and some quiet sitting on the rocks. If you take off your shoes and socks they say you can feel the vibration of the healing rocks. And sometimes you can feel the dried pellets from the goats. We called in the Light and did a few SE’s. Santa Barbara was resting peacefully below us in the glow of our Light and the ocean and Channel Islands beyond provided a backdrop so elegant, you’d have to be dancing with a tumbleweed not to feel it.
A visit to Horse Flats, the home for most of the Windermere horses, was next. It’s a tumbly rutted kind of road down to Horse Flats. Makes you feel all ‘ranchy.’ We jostled around like a Maytag with too big of a load. The horses were awaiting our arrival with a lot of patience and a bit of ‘hope those schmucks brought some alfalfa.’ We walked among the herd loving and hugging and talking about qualities. Moonstar, our one year old foal is now in a center corral fenced off from the herd on one side and Fury and Avalon on the other. He loves that spot. Prancing, spinning and making that sound that horses make that I don’t know how to spell. Very fun stuff. He raises more dust than an Arizona monsoon, but he did stop to take in some loving pets and Light.
Just like that, we were back in the van all full of hugs from Ivy (my daughter – yes I had to say that), Lynn and George and a bit of ‘chicken’ advice from Clark Franke, the next door neighbor and best dam poker player this side of Soul Casino. Everyone yelled goodbye as we left. I secretly hoped they wouldn’t do that when we left La Salsa Restaurant on the way home.
Some great hugs from these great people and before I knew it, it was Tuesday and I was rounding up another pack of ranch hungry Souls, this time at Prana. We had several ‘will be loving for ride to Windermere’ folks at Prana and fortunately, (after a wee bit of car challenge) our friend Pam took on a couple extra passengers in her car and we were off to the ranch for another day (for me anyway). I can’t tell you how joyful I get when I help people get to Windermere. I love watching beautiful Souls share their peace and joy with a place that for me, gives it back faster than it goes out. It’s like ground zero with God’s heart.
The second group was amazing as well. We had people from Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, Boston and North Carolina. I practiced my Spanish and Southern accent at the same time. (Hola, ya’ll) One person was wearing a blue plastic top hat with American Flags sticking out of the top. I didn’t know whether to salute, sing or just God Bless America. And God Bless this whole planet, regardless of race, creed, color situation, circumstance or environment.
We checked out the same spots, ate lots of food, hugged, laughed, and just generally appreciated each other’s Spirituality and sun block. Again, we took on extra travelers that had made their way to the ranch on their own. (I wonder if they tipped their driver). The pickup was full again and the joy flowed through the land like the breeze that rustles the oak leaves.
The second day we stayed later, so on the drive home I needed someone up front to kind of talk my ear off. And who should sit there but the most amiable gentle Soul of a man since Grizzly Adams. A stop at McDonalds for a hot coffee did the trick.
I love Windermere. I love being a part of helping us ‘beautiful people’ walk the land even more. Thank you all who went on the tours, joined the tours, organized the tours (yes you, Debbie Roth sitting there at your desk next to that amazing singer Cheri Stark on the second floor of Prana). And thanks to the amazing staff at the ranch that put up with me so we can DO THE TOURS!
God Bless you all and may our love for the Travelers be shared with each other,
Testimonials from Windermere Tour Participants
“Dave Wright was a terrific driver and guide, along with Robert Zack who joined us for the first part of the tour before he left to fly home to New York from Santa Barbara Airport. Dave is very patient and loving, a joy to be with. Enjoyed meeting his daughter Ivy and Dave’s wife too. Robert had goat and llama food for us to feed the animals and that was fun. We helped Ivy feed the horses too.”
-Amy Devereaux, Clayton, North Carolina
“I will remember this day as one of the highlights of my life. Everything was so Light-filled.
The loving of the people that greeted and accompanied us all day long was healing. The place as a whole (people, nature and beloved animals together) connected me with my loving and my Soul. Thank you for organizing this amazing experience.
I am so happy to be a donor.”
- Nora Valenzuela, Chile
“Bless you and all who made this tour fantastic. I still carry with me the peace, loving and magic of it all.
Everything worked for me. Dave Wright was a most wonderful and caring host. The timing, the stop for lunch and dinner, the available water to keep us hydrated, the offer to make “potty stops” were all so appreciated. The animals were most interesting and showed up to share with us. There was lots of loving and touching and healing.
I didn’t want it to end.”
- Judy Baumbach, Fennville, Michigan
“Wow it was beyond transforming — Dave and Robert from NY who drove the truck at Windermere were tender, loving, with sooo much sharing — a magical day and I am grateful!!!”
- Lorraine Andrew, Kalamazoo, Michigan
“I just have to say that the cutest thing on earth is a big, big llama coming out from the trees or behind the barn with like 8 or so sheep following him. Then later eating our little meal at the picnic table facing the pond and having Valentino come around the bend with the sheep following and then graze right next to us. Then a few minutes later up come dancing the group of new lambs.
The beauty of the llama and the sheep just stays with me and I can see his face in my SE’s!! Another Traveler!!! LOL.”
- Denise Lumiere, Los Angeles, CA (drove up with a friend to join the group!)