Meet Ann Marie...
From Ann Marie: I was an introspective child in an acquisition-oriented environment. The home of my childhood was part of a fifties tableau, with my parents focused on creating the American dream. “Educate and develop that mind” and "create financial security” were our family mottoes. My father, a small business owner, joined all the business associations and clubs in town and won a spot on the city council.
Nature was an accessory to this agenda, an adornment like the furniture inside, nicely tamed and appointed. We were the spectators in the yard, witnesses to the creative efforts of the professional gardener; I was encouraged not to interfere, until, in my early twenties, our picture-perfect lifestyle ended abruptly with my parents’ divorce. Along with all the changes in our family patterns came a gift with the departure of the gardener: I assumed the role of interim gardener.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Sitting on the earth weeding and digging, I felt support from the Earth that was profound. My recently earned Sociology degree and full time job were set on the back burner as I joyfully plunged into the physical world I could grasp with my heart and muddy hands. I started a gardening business with a friend, and for the next five years, most of my time was spent outdoors in clients’ backyards, planting and tending flowers, shrubs, and trees. I talked to the plants and instinctively knew which plants to use.
One day I saw a book on the Findhorn Garden in Scotland and and was so excited to discover other people who shared my understanding of nature presence. Findhorn eco-village was a remarkable forty-acre project with gardens and buildings, which served as a major destination worldwide for leading-edge conferences. Seeming impossibilities melted away in a series of wonderful coincidences and soon I was working and studying with this remarkable group of people, which at the time numbered about three hundred, plus a steady stream of visitors from around the world.
I deepened my earth-spirit skill at Fir Haven, a five-acre nature sanctuary outside of Eugene, Oregon that my husband and I established.
An 11-year research project co-creating with nature, we built a home with Feng Shui principles along with our own earth-based ceremonies and approaches.
I scheduled many events at Fir Haven: classes, trainings, tours, and ceremonies that brought many groups together to celebrate the earth spirit and watch her thrive under our stewardship.
In 2006, I felt a completion at Fir Haven and an urge to move to the island of Kauai in Hawaii.Two new stewards came forward with their own vision for Fir Haven and after a wonderful ceremony, we parted. We are now establishing the next step in our work on Kauai, a powerful ancient island.
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