Every thing that exists traces backwards to people coming together, places that resonate, ideas that have a history in their making. We didn’t create the ranch. The ranch has always been here, and kept speaking to us and through us until it was realized.
My cornerstone was a vision… I didn’t know where, when or how, but a vision of community. A place, a safe haven that was holistic, healing, unifying. In nature away form the immediacy of the city. More than a retreat center, but not as formal as a professional mental health agency. The more I was drawn to this, I was also drawn to more nature in my own life. I visited a friend who had found a lovely home in SW Michigan. I walked into a little house in a little town just a 5 minute drive from Lake Michigan, and every cell in my body vibrated. This is important. This is my future. So I said yes. And because I said yes to Michigan, everything lined up to make it possible to meet Dale. The second cornerstone.
Dale’s cornerstone was clarity of the ranch. Having lived in central Indiana where he had horses, he had all the experiences to speak the need for the ranch. He clarified that it’s not just people… but animals that need healing, and that heal. That the synergy of animals WITH people is the connection. That helping each other, giving purpose back and forth is the most life giving experience we can have. Providing Sanctuary… safety and nurturing… to each other is the key.
When we met he shared his vision of a ranch where animals could be rescued and trained to work with kids, and where kids with issues could come to learn responsibility and to trust again. That resonated. I shared my vision of a place where people could heal by getting out of their heads and out of the city and back to nature… and what could be more natural than animals! I felt it again. A little that night, more over time… This is important. This is my future. Dale AND the ranch. Eventually, we married. And because we both said yes to each others dream and saw how they were part of a bigger idea, it grew. Eventually, we looked for property. The third cornerstone.
We met a couple who had started an Alpaca farm 20 years ago, and were wanting to retire. They could not find any sanctuary that could guarantee to keep the animals together if they took them in. Since alpaca are very very family oriented and have been together for 15 years, they were set on not tearing them apart at this stage in their lives. She felt that they would need to stay until the animals all died, then they could leave. That is no way to live for either the animals or the people.
That situation is one of many that we want to help with. The areas that fall through the cracks of animal rescues and sanctuaries. As we talked with them, saw the land and met the animals we all agreed that it was just to synergistic to not recognize. It was all lining up. This would be the home of the ranch. We felt it again. This is important. This is our future. They were really the first to hear the call of the ranch, and we took the baton at the right time.
The fourth cornerstone is our dog, Hazel. We knew we wanted to include small animal therapy, so it was only a matter of time until we got a dog to join our vision. One day I opened an email from a Leonberger rescue site I had contacted, and saw her face. Same feeling. Every cell in my body vibrated. This was important. This was my future. We picked Hazel up a few days later. We went through many training courses with her, meeting our dog trainer and our behavioral specialist for the ranch along the way. Hazel is the perfect face and spirit for the ranch. I’ve never seen so much happiness, so much pure joy in simply meeting someone new. This moment… meeting, sharing… is what love is. It’s what healing is. So it begins.