Once upon a time in a land so near, and not so far away, there lived great wizards and many talented and magical people. They lived and frolicked in a beautiful place, blessed by the Goddess and all her many loyal protectors from the time of Mu. And on this land, the children of the present day came to play and be in community with one another.
One day, the great wizard summoned all the loyal people of this beautiful land and asked, “Why do not others of your tribe come here to run with the horses, sit by the healing waters and walk in the fields of flowers that wait here in longing for them?”
The beings present whispered among themselves, but none knew the reason. They went to the animals that lived there, and asked them. But none knew the reason why the beings from Anon did not come to play with them.
The beings walked among the crystals and whispered the question of the great wizard there also, but alas, the crystals wondered this themselves–As only crystals can wonder. One, that seemed to be of a special healing nature, sadly suggested that they had not been doing their jobs well enough, that maybe the crystal hadn’t healed enough for the word to be trumpeted across the land, or possibly the horses weren’t wise enough to thrill those who came to pet and rider them, or maybe the land did not seduce those who came to visit once but alas, never returned.
One brilliantly colored dragonfly entered this circle of gloom and shouted through all the dim and dismal clammering, “Why don’t we ask those that do not come. Let the Woodsman and the Trailblazer go to the cities and ask those who do not come why it is they shun us?”
They went back to the great wizard with this uncommon suggestion. “Extraordinary! Gather them together. No, no better yet, bring together a small group. Do not frighten them away, and find out what would lure them back to their place in the country that they have long since forgotten”
And so the Woodsman and the Trailblazer packed small bags filled with questions and snacks to take with them to the gathering places of these people who they loved, but who no longer came to the country to frolic with the other magical beings.
The Woodsman and the Trailblazer journeyed far, until they came to a distantly familiar place within the confines of a great city. They gathered together a small group from all aspects and vistas of these magical beings and asked, “Why is it that you have forgotten us? Why is it that you do not come to visit your place in the country? What keeps you separated from us?”
Each of the beings peered strangely at the Woodsman and the Trailblazer. They did not know how to answer these questions.
One warm and gracious lady spoke and said, “We come when invited to the parties and such. Some times we come when summoned to pay the tax of ownership by working at parties, but we have been warned by others that the people who inhabit the land around the WindyMirrer will not welcome us. So we do the wishes of those who watch for our safety.”
Another of the group spoke timidly and with a tender smile. “I love the horses and the animals that live in the country, but do not feel comfortable about traveling this distance with so little knowledge of the customs of this WindyMirrer Land? It frightens me to go without a Trailblazer and Guide to show me the way.”
Each spoke in like terms and expressed their heartfelt feelings and concerns, and the Woodsman and the Trailblazer listened in shock and dismay, that people were frightened and unsure of the territory and thus would not venture forward into the land of the bright crystals and magical animals. That they would separate themselves from the waters and the flowers and not seek the sun’s cascading warmth from the healing rocks, trees and land.
The Woodsman spoke again and asked them to come and visit, that he would speak with the wizards and other radiant beings that lived on the WindyMirrer and find a solution to this bewitchment.
And so with the help of the words that could express the simplest of invitation, The Woodsman and Trailblazer went back to the scribes of the magic and told them this story –and they said, “We shall make them a great and simple map. We shall tell them all just what to wear and what to bring. We shall tell them about the guides and the horses. We shall invite them to return once more to ‘their place in the country.’
We shall summon the friendship makers and the star handlers. We shall ask them to weave a map and tell the story to all who will listen.
We will invite them home.
And avow that it is safe and that they are welcome. We shall set forth great treats and lavish them with attention and loving until all the fear is driven away with the love from our hearts and the willingness to bring them home to the heart of their loving and that place of peace recovered for them. We shall rally them home.”
Excitedly, they showed the Proclamation to the Great Wizard and to the Horses, the crystals, the flowers, the fields, the dragonflies and the waters. They read it to all the people who regularly frolic on this land and all rejoiced that others would once again join them in a daily way to celebrate this magical place called WindyMirror.
“Stop! Stop! Stop! This place is not WindyMirror,” spouted out the Unicorn, “No wonder these shiny beings do not visit. It is not a reflection of the coolness in our hearts– the wind in the mirror!”
“Lest they forget again, It is Windermere, a magical place where they can dream their dreams, walk upon the land of the ancients and sing the songs of near and far. It is a place from which their minds can wander into imaginings and their hearts can know who they truly are. This is the place. I invite each and everyone to come in the gate and into their heart. It is a place that opens and the loving flows forward to greet each and everyone who remembers their place.”
“You and you and you,” the Unicorn said, pointing out into the gathering, “Each are welcome, each are invited, and each can come.”
The Woodsman and Trailblazer stepped forward and declared, “We shall cut a new path that will ease your fears. Look again, inside the next page. There–there within this book of loving are the decrees and changes we have divined to encourage you to frolic again with us in WinDemere, Your Place in the Country.”
The gathering of shining beings, hearts opened to receive, turned the pages of the large book of decrees and found this satisfying experience:
WINDERMERE, YOUR HOME IN THE COUNTRY
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I WANT TO VISIT?
*The IIWP Office: (805) 692-1806 or toll-free (888) 848-4497
*Windermere is open every day AND, very important:
*there are seven bathrooms on the property, and also some showers & tubs.
CAN I OR A FRIEND GET A TOUR OF WINDERMERE?
*Yup- just call ahead to 805-692-1806 or 888-848-4497 to arrange a time.
HOW ABOUT EATING AT WINDERMERE?
* Feel free to bring snacks or a picnic lunch. Windermere has picnic tables in some scenic locations, and ye olde Bunkhouse has a kitchen for your use.
* The nearest restaurant is Cold Springs Tavern, which was once a stagecoach stop and serves great open pit barbecue. Cold Springs is about 20 minutes away.
WHO ARE THE STAFF AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
*Ted – Chief Honcho
*Lynn – Horse manager
*George – Maintenance master
*Beth – Admin office manager
*Neal – Fundraising master
*David & Teresa – Masters of everything else
HOW DO I GET TO WINDERMERE?
Windermere is about two hours drive north of Los Angeles and about a six hour drive south from San Francisco. The nearest airport is about 30 minutes from Windermere in Santa Barbara. For detailed directions to the Ranch, call the IIWP office at (805) 692-1806 or (888) 848-4497.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I GET THERE?
*Park in the designated parking “field.” Then walk down the road and follow the signs to the sign-in station. For a small donation there are some snacks and bottled drinks in the refrigerator in the tool room. (There are also some snacks and drinks at the Bunkhouse.)
WHAT IS THERE TO DO AT WINDERMERE?
*Schmoozing with horses
*Visit with friends
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
*Two layers of clothing (the weather changes a lot at the ranch)
*If you are subject to sunburn on sunny days, it’s good to wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, and hats
*Sunscreen, a bandana, and closed-toe shoes
HOW CAN I HELP?
Let us know when you call if you would like to volunteer your services in any of these areas while you are here. We have something for everyone:
*Horse related chores
*Mucking the stalls (most popular!)
*Assisting in the IIWP Office
*Assisting with Ranch maintenance projects (carpentry, cleaning, clearing brush, etc.)
CAN I STAY OVERNIGHT?
*You are a Windermere Donor and are contributing at least $120 to Windermere this year; or
*You are attending a service party; or
*You are willing to do six hours of service a day during your stay.
Please plan on limiting your stay to one or two nights unless other arrangements have made in advance.
CAN I RIDE A HORSE?
*Generally, priority is given to Windermere donors. Give Lynn a call at 805-967-7126 to check out the possibilities.
THE BOTTOM LINE
*We would love to see you at your Place of Peace.
[Special Note: Many thanks to Don Durrant for his work in spearheading this project and putting together “Windermere, your Place in the Country.”]