Meet The Bear Den!
I’m writing this post in hopes that my recent experience will give you hope that something you’re longing for can come true, if only you hold the vision while at the same time (and this part is important), you move forward towards making it happen.
In a recent blog post “Sometimes You Just Need to Get a Move On” I wrote about my journey to find a new place to call home.
“I learned how to be in Nature in the most unlikely of urban places, but I yearn to be somewhere where it’s more abundant. Where I can walk barefoot in the grass. Breathe clean air. Climb a tree or take naps under her canopy. Look up and see the mountains. I feel like I’m halfway there. Praying that I find my new home soon.”
When the signs appear…pay attention.
On Instagram, I shared my daydreams about being able to walk out my door and into the woods. Instead of having to drive there. I fantasized about having a lake or a river or even a stream nearby.
How I need four distinct seasons. Including snow. Yes, snow.
I am really sensitive to the energy of places. And there has been a great deal of confusion for me lately around this.
For years I’ve thought that I’d move to the mountains of North Carolina. It is breathtakingly beautiful and I know a lot of people there. But something energetically nagged at me every time I would go visit.
My first road trip with Willow (my car!) was to upstate New York. A family that I love has a home in the Hudson Valley and I’ve long thought that I’d end up there. But, for reasons having to do with 2020, I reluctantly had to cross NY off my list.
I traveled to Michigan where I still have family and there are lots of lakes and forests up north and definitely four seasons. A friend suggested that maybe the Mitten state was calling me back. But, something felt off.
I continued on through Pennsylvania and did some exploring in an area where a dear friend and fellow Nature-lover is relocating with her husband. It’s beautiful there. It seemed like the perfect plan. It felt comforting (just like it would have in NY or Michigan) to have someone I love nearby.
But, again, something was off and my intuition would not have it. Michigan and Pennsylvania felt comfortable but like false alarms.
A part of me wanted to head south or out to the Dakotas where everyone isn’t walking around in masks, but I just can’t take the heat and humidity and feel in my bones I want to remain out east – at least for now.
And then, New Hampshire kept popping into my head. I’d never been to New Hampshire. Someone told me the state motto is “Live Free or Die”. I liked that, considering the current goings-on.
My friend, Robin, a fellow energy healer and Earth-sister lives in New Hampshire. She had repeatedly said to me “I think you’d love New Hampshire.”
And so, rather spur-of-the-moment-ish Willow and I drove to the Granite State (My heart skipped a little beat when I heard that because, you know, I’m a rockhound.) The minute I crossed the line from Massachusetts into New Hampshire my whole body relaxed and I let out a sigh. Omg, the Trees. It seems as though the Trees own the state. They line the highways with such a majestic presence. They are EVERYWHERE.
Robin graciously invited me to stay at her home. I was tired and anxious from the drive and the stress of looking for a house to rent which these days seems almost impossible was wearing me down. We drove up to the lakes region and looked at a couple of houses that were a bust, and then had a picnic lunch on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. I rambled on about how much I love a good sandwich for lunch and then we headed back to Robin’s.
I was feeling so ungrounded and my intuition channel seemed scrambled. I felt like jumping ship and Friday night decided that I was going to pack up and maybe head back home.
Saturday morning Robin knocked on my door and said that she wanted to show me a house she found online. It had just been listed.
It was a quirky little house (albeit totally adorable) but nothing at all like what I’ve been picturing and trying to manifest. No porch, which I’d clearly requested many times, and no space for a studio or healing room. I’ve been dreaming of a pink (I’d settle for goldenrod yellow) house a la one of my favorite children’s books “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton. I’ve had the book sitting on my coffee table for months. I guess my guides didn’t get that message.
But, wait! I just went and re-read the book and The Little House sat upon a hill! 🙂 It’s just a Cape Cod version, that’s all. We need to be REALLY specific with our guides!
At any rate, The Voice ordered me to check it out so I tried to reach the agent but didn’t get a response. Robin and I decided to drive up there anyway. It was literally in the same area we’d just come back from.
I should mention that it was October 10th – the birthday of my partner, Ralph, who passed away several years ago. Things always seem to happen around his birthday.
On the ride up, Robin mentioned to me that when she woke up that morning her first thought was of a healer named Grandmother SaSa, who a friend had recently told her about. She wasn’t sure why she was thinking about her but she shared this and we both decided that we would find out more about her. She lives in New Hampshire. More on that later.
I have this weird obsession with the names of roads and towns and wanting to live somewhere with a good address. Not prestigious, but rather quirky or with a good meaning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slammed on my brakes to take a photo of a street sign. If the word “Hollow” is part of it, I swoon.
I’d literally just listened to a podcast where the person was talking about his same obsession with the names of places, so I guess I’m not alone.
As we turned onto Beede (Bee-dee) Flats Road, I thought to myself, hmm, I like the sound of that, and made a mental note to look up its meaning when I got back to Robin’s.
And oh, isn’t it funny that I was going on and on about sandwiches the day before and the little house is in N. Sandwich?
I don’t know which guide was joking around with that one but I definitely picked up on it.
We were driving down the road, and all I could think was OMG, look at these trees. They were ablaze with colors. And intermixed with majestic Pines. Have I ever told you how much I love the smell of Pine trees?
Betty, my navigation lady, said that we’d reached our destination. But, the house we found ourselves at looked nothing like the one online. We were sitting there ruminating when a car pulled up behind us and a man got out. It was his house, why were we there? I asked if it was for rent and he said “no” and I said “But there’s a listing for this address” and after a moment’s thought, he said “Oh! We have a little house for rent down the road. Maybe my wife listed it. Would you like to see it?”
We pulled up a steep gravel driveway and saw the little house perched atop a hill. Forest behind it. Mountain in the other direction. Check. Check. I got out of the car and immediately saw that the hill was teeming with wild medicinal plants. Mullein, Red Clover, etc. Plants for foraging! Check.
The owner of the house began telling us the history of the man who built it but never got to live in it (long story) and that the house had been left to him and his wife. And, “Oh”, he said, “The house even has a name.
It’s The Bear Den.”
When the signs appear, pay attention.
Uhh, ok. Let’s pause here for a moment. Robin immediately noticed the Bear charm I wear every day. I have a wild and deep connection with the Bear Spirit. I’ve had incredible dreams, daydreams, and shamanic journeys with Bear. When I journey to the Lower World, I almost always end up in The Bear Den.
The house, well, I’ve been wanting to simplify my life and maybe that’s why the Universe guided me to it. There is barely any storage (I have a LOT of Taurus in my chart and we tend to accumulate things) and the layout is unusual. I don’t know where I’ll be able to paint but I’ll find a way. Before I reconfigured space in my loft here in Jersey City, I painted a whole series that was 60” x 60” in my vestibule, so anything’s possible.
As for my paintings, well, if anyone is interested, please reach out. I will need to sell them all. There’s not even space for artwork on the walls because of all the windows (I’m not complaining!)
After the owner left, Robin and I spread a blanket out on the hill and had another picnic lunch. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any sandwiches.
The land feels so peaceful. I looked up and realized that I will actually be able to see the sunrise and the sunset, the moon, and the stars.
I’ll be breathing clean air and drinking pure water.
There are moose and bears and everything in between.
There’s not a house in sight (although they are there, down the road, as I relayed to concerned friends and family). Across the road is the Audubon Bird Sanctuary with a mountain behind it.
Want to know what I’m most afraid of? Not being alone. Mice. Yep, I’m not kidding. I’m terrified of mice and I’m fairly certain they’ll be wanting to come inside The Bear Den.
I’m not sure how it came to be that they frighten me so. Maybe because my dad used to dangle them in front of my face when he caught one in a trap. 🙁 Or the fact that I know more than one person who’s had a mouse get tangled in their hair while they were sleeping at night!
I have felt every emotion and physical sensation before and after saying “yes” to renting the house. Runaway anxiety. Uncertainty. Stomach-churning. Heart pounding. Terror at the actual moving process. Joy. Excitement. Gratitude. Just to name a few.
I made a promise to myself that I’d never move during Vata Season. Moving is one of the most ungrounding things for Vata, along with travel. It’s Vata Season and I’m moving on 11/11. Pretty good date, right? When they asked me when I wanted to move in that date literally flew out of my mouth.
I hope I make it there before the snow falls. I have a snow shovel and snowshoes on my list of things to buy.
When I got back to Robin’s that night, I looked up Grandmother SaSa online. Her center, The Rose and The Swan are 15 minutes from The Bear Den! Can you believe it? It’s on the Bear Camp River.
All this year I’ve been thinking that a teacher was about to come into my life. I saw in my mind’s eye a Native American grandmother who could help me in my wisdom years. Perhaps teach me more about the plants.
I reached out to Grandmother SaSa and shared this story with her. I received a warm response, welcoming me to the mountains of New Hampshire and telling me to come to see her when I was ready.
When the signs appear…pay attention.
A couple of days later, before I knew that the house was mine to rent, Robin and I took another drive up. It poured rain all day but the trees were still spectacularly beautiful. We went to Beede Falls nearby and ventured into the fairyland surrounding it, rain pouring down on us.
When we left the area to head home, Robin turned to me and asked me if I was going to get a new bed and mattress. I thought that was kind of an odd question, but the fact was that I’d been thinking about it.
We literally rounded the corner and there was a big sign reading “Custom Mattresses for Sale!” Lolol. One final sign.
Willow had been filthy from the road trip. When she’s parked on the street here in Jersey City and it rains, she still looks dirty and spotted, which kinda says something about rain in the city.
The day after the New Hampshire rain, Willow looked like she’d been washed and waxed. I hope she’s ready for the snow.
If you are wanting, desiring, needing something in your life to change, just keep moving forward.
Take a trip. Make a call. Rent/buy a car so you can explore. Ask for help. Take that class. Speak your dreams out loud. Write them down.
And pay attention to the signs.
Willow was my first giant step forward.
And now here I am, moving to a little house in New Hampshire, up on a hill, surrounded by trees and giant boulders I can sit on and meditate.
I’ll even be able to hang my clothes on a clothesline. I’ve wanted to do that forever.
I’m picturing twinkle lights everywhere (the fairies will love that!) and herbs drying from the rafters.
Come and visit me. I’ll light the wood-burning stove and make us a cup of tea, hot chocolate, or even pour a bit of whisky, a la the Scots. It appears Beede is a Scottish name, like Sinclair.
Welcome to my home.
P.S. A giant thank you and a virtual hug (you can have one in person if you’d like!) to each and every one of you who’ve written to me wishing me well on this journey to find my new home. You gave me the strength to keep moving forward. xoxo