The gardens were minimized, our diet simplified further. The plant research for sustainability was cut way back. We tried to simplify our extensive farm management.
The lights in “Valcan’s Daughter”, the open air welding shop on Dandelion Farm, ran late into the nights all year whenever the weather would permit. The relentless sound of grinding metal pouring out of the shop day and night, was softened by earplugs, always ready for use in a pocket somewhere. The plasma cutter was coaxed along with Loren’s “Wizard Fixer” talents, to shoot it’s spray of sparks cutting endless lines in steal. Likewise the mig welding machine ran uncountable hours, even with a couple young hands getting a tantalizing taste of welding along the way. It was long hard work, but hard to call “work”, for the love it expressed and brought to heart.
It was quite a push to get as far as we could on the metal art for Great Swan Peace Cathedral before the expected El Nino rains and biting winter cold, working almost until Christmas. Piles of metal art grew as we hurried toward the final cut off of production and FINALLY a trip to the galvanizer, to protect it all from rust.
Loren, with a little help, pre-installed the metal work to be sure it would all fit and to make adjustments before the galvanizing process. What you see in the pix on this page is this pre-installation of a years worth of hard labor, by mostly Candace (nearing 70yrs) with Loren (nearing 80).
The last big day of metal work in 2015, was one Candace and Chante (25yrs) shared in Valcan’s Daughter. Chante had been helping one day a week on Dandelion Farm for some time, getting foundation welding skills. An impressive artist already at her age, she had offered to help with farm maintenance needs in exchange for learning to weld and other art techniques. But that last day, that last big push to finish, Chante proved herself a fast moving, skilled help, worthy of recognition as a WELDER! It was shear joy for long hours as we “danced” together around the shop until the plasma cutter went silent, and the last cut part was welded and ground smooth. THANK YOU Chante!
2016 Welding season is about to begin. There is at least as much left to do on Great Swan as we did last year. What will we accomplish this year?
A little taste: While waiting out the cold wet months indoors, Chante helped Candace choose colors and layout style for mosaic on a welded swan, part of the front entrance approach to Great Swan Peace Cathedral….Pix coming soon!
(A Prayer To The Heart Of Reality, Proposed By The World Friend, Adi Da, For Non-Sectarian Use By All Of Mankind)
Beloved, Inmost Heart of every heart, do not Let our human hearts be broken
by our merely mortal suffering here—
but Make our mortal human hearts break-Free
to an unconditional love of You,
that we may, Thus, love all living beings
with Love’s own True, and Truly broken, Heart.
The center of Dandelion is a very large area all fenced against deer with high plastic mesh, which has already outlived its expected age and is starting to struggle. Why not make art fencing! The fence is about 1,500 linear feet….a LOT to do in art, but that may happen some day….Meanwhile its a great place to put all kinds of scrap metal made into compositions of lessor or greater quality while improving the fence.
The ART WALK alone will soon be worth a visit to Dandelion. This will be a periphery trail to enjoy all the art fence panels.
Today’s work was inspired by yesterday’s reorganizing a pile of the metal junk. Its named “Take Out the Trash!”….That’s what this section of fence will be made of…the least desirable metal scrap….a fun challenge to make it artistically interesting while deer proof.
Much of our larger metal art is based on left over metal scrap from one of our neighbors different metal art work. Larry Sloan is a builder of unique qualities. He adds beautifully made metal hinges and brackets all over his building work, creating a unique strong beauty….and lots of left over negative metal cutouts.
At the bottom of this page you will see Larry’s grand goat barn (nearing completion),…a real BEAUTY….and you will thus also see the positive metal parts he made while giving Dandelion his left overs. He goes to much special effort to make his left overs well arranged and especially useful and even beautiful in themselves so that we can make something beautiful from his scrap for Dandelion.
The white lacy arch with Larry, his wife, Lonnie, and their dogs beside it, was made for the center of Dandelion almost entirely of Larry’s left over negative metal cutouts. This is quite a special way our neighbor is helping in the creation of Dandelion!
On Larry’s property there is an old orchard that the previous owners fenced with hundreds of old box springs and bed frames. There was something very so cool about that junk fence that it inspired us to use junk also as art for our fence. We even found an unwanted box spring bed frame for one of our fence panels! The inspiration for our junk fence was one more unique gift from our wonderful neighbors, the Sloans.
We have a couple hundred feet of art fence done now and will have to post pictures soon to share the varieties of art work from scrap and junk metal that are becoming the “Art Walk” on Dandelion. Stay posted!
Dandelion Sustainable Farm has been helped my so many wonderful people. With the Blessing for Great Swan Peace Cathedral, another series of volunteers arrived as if sent from heaven. We owe them much gratitude and praise. You will soon see their images and heroic deeds appearing here.
But first things first! How would we even be sharing all this with you were it not for the most gracious help of Michael Harrings, a rare man indeed? While waiting on a far greater and challenging web service project, he took DandelionFarm.org under his wing. He has helped immensely to get the site onto a new format and to help us learn the process. Sitting with him at his “Grand Central” web working desk with 3 computer monitors in front, professional web hosting computer below, another computer on a side desk, I felt like I was at the helm of control for a small universe. WOW! It was quite an amazing experience….such POWER! But then what is power compared to LOVE? As we sat there working on DandelionFarm.org we shared stories of Divine Love, laughing and crying all the way. Now a man who cries in Love of the Divine is a man of the highest sort. Michael is just such a man with a real heart to go with all his computer brains. He is so humbly human. SO much gratitude goes from our hearts to Michael!
And then there are the MANY great volunteers that have added their energy and special talents over the years. We estimate over 200 by now.
Our latest was Olaia, a 26yr. old from the Basque Country in Spain who we enjoyed immensely during her 1 mon. work/exchange. What a wonderful volunteer, with a STRONG!!! work ethic and a beautiful heart. We had to almost hold her back from over giving on her end of the exchange. She looked around at the work load and took on things with out being asked. Wow!
Olaia showed us how to eat cardoon as her family in Spain does. These volunteer almost too abundantly around our gardens. We love their massive out put of little (spiny) artichokes, and now also the stems as Olaia demonstrated. We will remember her often for this alone.
Cardoon require no deer fence, no water, no care, except chopping them down at the end of their cycle. FREE yummy FOOD!
Olaia was strong in so many ways and working (?) hard at improving her English…that is she loved to talk and drew us into LOTS of conversations about very meaningful things. Open and available to consider new and different perspectives made her such a pleasure to share with! Her help ranged from brush clearing for fire prevention, planting, mushroom starts, mulching, welding-grinding, etc, She made the spring overload of work much lighter a pleasure with her company.
The most critical dome construction of Great Swan Peace Cathedral is set in motion. Blessed most potently at the Brightness on Sept. 10 for commencing at the end of Oct. And so the start up is TODAY, but not without challenges and minor miraculous turns of events. Well, that has always been what it’s like serving something Blessed and Called for by Adi Da, the Conscious Light, Incarnate.
Great attention to every detail and constant offering of my heart, and life to the Divine are essential for a positive, even miraculous process…This I have learned! Let’s not even think about what its like when there is resistance. I could tell some amazingly examples, negative stories about that, but not now. Don’t want to even think such thoughts!
Now is the time to revel in GRACE, pouring down on Dandelion and the clear Blessed beginnings of Great Swan Peace Cathedral!
Dominique, our foreman with 8 monolithic domes under his belt was with us for our late Oct. start up on Great Swan….until he suddenly was not! TOO busy already. That had to go into prayer asap! And a couple days later his job ran out of funds to continue hiring him! He was again available for Great Swan….Oh, that familiar miraculous pattern has begun.
We kept hearing of Oscar Duckworth, quite an impressive professional shot-crete specialist of the highest degree. When contactkng and sharing with him about the project, he seemed with us to shoot the cement overhead into the air form when we began.
Our project was peanuts, but fun compared to his multimillion dollar hot shot gigs. (He has a most stellar resume!) But just a couple days before we were to begin, he found himself in too much demand by the industry to be the one we were depending upon for a safe, optimum quality cement shoot. YIKES!
Dominique with much experience EXCEPT the shot-crete application, became determined to move ahead and do the cement shoot himself, taking instruction via the phone from another shot-crete pro. This was something most definitely for prayer, and I told Oscar so. Late the next day Oscar called: “Have you seen my email?”…We chatted as I got up the computer and read:
“Good News: My schedule at the beginning of next week has cleared. How did you do that?
I am THRILLED!!
Regards, Oscar Duckworth
Well, I didn’t do that. It was just how it works in service to the Divine, when hearts are open to That. I was so thrilled and relieved to hear this awesome news!!!
But while praying for the project I missed 3 calls from the UPS delivery man with the nearly $6,000. air-form, which is the most essential element for the Great Swan Peace Cathedral dome. Loren had tried to find out when it would be coming before taking off to shop for project supplies.
When I found the messages I called Loren to find out his where abouts. “I’m at Kelseyville Lumber”… 45min. away!! Oh no! I then called the UPS man to tell him I was was the one to receive that BIG package he called about. “Not today, mam. I am already at my next delivery at Kelseyville Lumber”….”Oh, that is where my husband is with van and trailer”….”Well, I’ll be!…..”
It turned out the lumber company fork lifted the massively heavy package into Loren’s van, making it easier than had it happened as intended at the farm. The UPS man said to Loren, (not knowing anything about what he was delivering) “The gods are watching over you”
Dominque’s little SWEET lady, Michele, the coolest rebar worker of my gender I have ever met, had these words to say, (after visiting Dandelion Ballad, the site of Great Swan Peace Cathedral): “I gotta work on this project…Its EPIC!”
May it ALL be Blessed and completely Graceful!
Now at last, weeks later, we share images after the safe and successful completion of the Dome cement work for Great Swan Peace Cathedral.
The BIG DAY arrives for placing and inflating
the air-form. This is actually like a big balloon make to our specifications for Great Swan.
Here you see the uninflated air-form from Queen of Heaven Gate and then the inflated.
Michele, forewoman and Candace jump into each other’s arms, so happy to be INSIDE the first step of the Dome.
Next our basic team poses inside. Note how white it is…This is just the plastic air-form!
AFTER….Air-form inflated and ready for shot-crete.air-form standing there.
Then our most critical miracle of intervention: Oscar Duckworth, the “best of the west” overhead shot-crete professional at work. His help that was essential in many ways for the safe dome construction.
This is how we will be seeing Great Swan for some time to come, as all kinds of other parts are prepared to add.
A good start on the massive amount of metal work in the Peace Cathedral vision that came in 2002, was done that year and the next. A LONG last, more is on the way in “Valcan’s Daughter”, the mostly open air welding shop on Dandelion.
Great Swan Peace Cathedral is hovering in my consciousness constantly now. Who will help? How to do each little element that has to happen? Daily calls and discussions….looking for the right skills, the right people who will respect the deeper nature of this work.
Much is unfolding. People connections of all are happening. Deeply good people are helping already in related ways. Inspirations flow with an uncommon effulgence accompanied by profound Joy, and thus the vision of Great Swan grows more full and clear in my consciousness.
I have shared a simple story of how Great Swan came as a calling to me with many. It is now a web page of its own with a detailed version of the story. Construction will begin in a few short weeks! There will be tons of welding of metal art for it. and months mosaic stained glass windows to make. Yes, a good start has been made on the metal. Those are details of finished metal in the plan you see. But oh, so much more is yet to be made! I feel the aging of my body, its struggles and the great demands it carries already. I have to constantly go beyond fears and limitations in mind and body, as does Loren…daily. The financial means to cover this also have to come. This is a fearful undertaking were it not for the surrender of all in Trust I practice. This is a great Leap of Faith, the Holy Jumping Off Place for me.
And then there are these magical moments of providence. Mike is one of those neighbors amongst several of us that weld art. I have been telling him about Great Swan for quite a while. Today, he suddenly GOT IT, that this was something pretty BIG in many more ways than one, something that he HAD to be part of. “Count me in!” he said, “especially when it comes to the art welding”. You have to know what music this was to my ears!
Actually Mike taught me to weld on Metal Hymn, my 2nd welding project. He helped sooooooooooooo much! He earned our love and gratitude forever.
Then when the lady of his life first came to Dandelion and saw Metal Hymn, she announced that was where she wanted to get married, not even knowing the big part Mike played in it. And so they were married in the place Mike had worked so hard to help create….One of those special little miracles that just keep happening for people who volunteer on Dandelion. (Oh, so many sweet stories flood my mind of the wonderful things that have come to volunteers on or shortly after their time on Dandelion).
This title may sound like one of those frog-to-prince or ugly duckling-to-swan fairy tales. But it was beyond any fairy tale I heard as a child, beyond my imagination.
It happened one unusual morning on Dandelion Farm…..Well, really it didn’t start that very day. It began a couple weeks earlier when I signed up to go on retreat on the Mountain of Attention Sanctuary. It was a summer in the early ’80’s. And I was excitedly headed for an ecstatic retreat in the Company of Adi Da Samraj, so I thought.
But as I arrived and settled in on the first day, word came that He was LEAVING! And sadly, He did that indeed, quite soon thereafter. I was in “Great Food Dish” as He walked, staff in hand, up the stairs and past the windows, allowing those inside to see Him pass by as a farewell gift to us all. He stopped in front of 7th Gate on the path and leaned over to kiss little Naamleela good-bye for the time and walked out of sight.
So began my 2 weeks of retreat. There had been so many retreatants before. But suddenly the flood of people from around the globe onto retreat in His Company had withered down to three die-hards…myself amongst them. Instead of a large, passionate group to share meditation and the long, long “full cycle of devotion” formal recitations and chanting every afternoon, there were 3 of us alone together. Chanting with out accompaniment with non musical types? You have to have done it to appreciate this unique form of torture.
We were as dry as the dearth of devotees. I felt unusually incapacitated in my feelings and in my practice altogether the whole retreat. This is to say it was utterly, painfully BORING. There was nowhere to run from this pain of boredom, other than the devices of a real beginner’s mind…Talk of PAIN! But with no place to run I struggled and persisted all the way through the 2 weeks of minor hell, feeling it was all such a waste of time!
Back home on Dandelion Farm, I was much relieved to simply walk in nature again, contemplating in my heart with a slowly resurfacing feeling ability…Yes, I was beginning to slowly, for some mysterious reason, be able to feel again. I noticed the peace of nature and the sun shining a bit brighter than usual…ahhhhhhhhhh, nature, what a relief!
I enjoyed my relaxed walks a couple more days. Then I headed for the irrigation pond to lap up a bit more of that wonderfully bright sun, swimming leisurely for a bit before rolling over onto my back to bask in the sun as I floated on the still waters.
Instantly my mind fell away as brightness overwhelmed all. But as that wash of brightness swept me away, for an instant I was a lotus flower unfurloughing all the petals of my being outward from the flower’s core, out in unfettered love of that brightness upon the waters. No self…… drifted deep away…no time….nothing…..but at some level of unthinking awareness there was the most exquisite, pervasive, delicious, heart deep and cellular PLEASURE.
I became fully aware of that unknowable land only as it quickly vanished with the words of my returning mind, “Is it right to feel such PLEASURE?” Those words arose clearly to even my mind like the ugly blight they were. a pestilence upon a space exquisite beyond description.
But I did quickly recognize that this was a Blessed Gift after a difficult retreat. I could only marvel that Adi Da had been able to give this in spite of my devotional incapacity and beginner’s unpreparedness, and with so little time before He left. Clearly I placed all kinds of limiting presumptions on Him that this tampered with. Such sudden and stark high-lighting of my limited presumptions has, more than once, thrown me into unknowing awe!
Cloud of Unknowing gate on Dandelion was named after a 14th century book by an anonymous Christian mystic. The experience of “unknowing” has come and relieved my being like a descending peace dove over a battlefield. There were times it was so blatant as to remain etched in memory forever, and other countless times when as it became a door to heart meditation. Perhaps I will share some of those stories too…the most special ones… after you have tread in the shoes of my mind a bit further.
Unknowing and drifting in the “Sea of Infinity”. That is Where I drifted that day. That became the name of Dandelion’s first pond. Most of the time this is a froggy, fishy little watery place of grasses and weeds and critters coming to drink or fly around. But it is to me always, truly, a different bliss and Light filled Reality, the Sea of Infinity.
And thus a little prayer arose: “Ah, Love, Let it be that You and I may fly as One, beyond the sun and through the Sea of Infinity….And thus also, a theme I began to make in jewelry… fanciful versions of a woman swept away in Love.