I don't remember specifically the first time I wanted to be a nun. I'm an introvert, and my preferred mode of being is Hermit. And I'm deeply, deeply spiritual. Have been for all of my life. The problem, of course, is that spirituality is of neither the Catholic nor Buddhist varieties, which really severely limited by ability to become a nun. But that didn't stop me from dreaming of a place where I could go be a hermit, and work the land, and connect to nature and my Goddess, a fiesty ancient fire goddess who tells me her name is Paradox, and guides my life in strange but amazing ways.
When I finally accepted that there was little change of myself becoming a nun, I realized that if that was the life I really wanted to have, I was going to have to create it for myself. I was going to have to get the land and homestead it and build something out of it.
A few problems though.
1. I'm a broke chick from Flint, Michigan.
2. Land is freaking expensive.
Then I came across a Facebook post about a land trust in West Virginia that was offering a lifetime lease on 65 acres of land for free. Well, not totally free. Whoever gets it has to pay a fee to join the land trust, and then has to pay the yearly taxes. But considering to buy 65 acres of land can run into six figures, it's a heck of a deal.
On something that wasn't quite a whim, but felt very whirlwindy... I decided to submit an application to try to get this land lease. I told them about my background living on a working hobby farm for a few years when my son was little. We had chickens and turkeys and geese and guinea hens. We had gardens that we grew our own food from. And since moving to the city a decade ago, I've desperately missed it.
Then, I told them about the dream.
The Hummingbird Hermitage
I can't be a nun, but I can create a spiritual sanctuary for the others out there like me who crave a place of quiet connection with themselves and nature. A place separate from the chaos of the "real world", where creative spiritual introverts can come spend a weekend or a week or a month or even a year. It'll start with tiny houses on the property, places for people to come stay for as long as they desire to make that connection. They'll be able to pay or work on the homestead in exchange for room and board.
The property has a house on it that will need to be replaced, as it's in a flood zone, and the flood waters have reached the house in the past. Beyond just the flood waters, the house is in a state that isn't really livable through the winter, so that will need to be dealt with.
Over time, I'll build gardens, orchards, have poultry, and maybe even later on have livestock. I'll build a chapel in the woods and a series of shrines in the woods to various spirits and deities. It will be a place that creative introverts can come to do their art, connect with others of a like mind, and connect more deeply to their spiritual self than they've been able to in their day-to-day lives.
Help me get to West Virginia
After sending my application, I didn't think I'd hear back for awhile, but I did. Within a couple of days, I was invited to come down to West Virginia to meet the board of the land trust and to tour the land, and see if I really want it. I already know I do, I just have to convince them I'm the right one.
That's where I need help. Cuz I'm still a broke chick living in Flint, Michigan. I'm self-employed, and I make enough to support myself, but not much more.
It'll cost me around $1500 for travel expenses, $1000 for the land trust fee, and about $500 for the first year of property taxes. I want to have that before I go so I can show them that I'm super serious about this, because I am.
I want to create a sanctuary for the freaks. The pagans, the witches, the ones who crave a deep connection with spirit but are daily faced with limited options for making that deep solitary connection.
I want to create a non-religious, spiritual retreat center that allows those outside the mainstream to engage in a monastic lifestyle, even if only for a weekend.
I go visit West Virginia on August 20th. And if all goes well, I'll move there permanently shortly after and start crowdfunding to build The Hummingbird Hermitage.
Donate $1, $5, $10, however much you can. Donate $100, and you'll receive a Psychic Bitchslap session from me, a specialty type of reading that digs into why you're so stuck and what you can do about it. Donate $3000 and you'll have a tiny house built in your honor. Donate as much or as little as you desire, and we'll make this happen together.