After a 24 hour journey it was lovely to see a familiar caring face. In a beautiful dress and flip flops, Patty was ready to take me to her magical place Hinchinbrook Farm in Blockhouse. Driving up the drive way, one could feel the enchantment. It is one of these places you feel every burden just fade away, a smile slowly appearing on your face, and the feeling that you arrived to visit a little piece of Heaven on Earth. Of course, the giant Newfoundland youngster Shanty in the back of the car had a lot to do with that too. Shanty is St Johns’ Ambulance certified for pet therapy and attained her Special Needs Certificate, and is just the sweetest dog you will ever meet. By the way Patty also has a mini called Sugarfoot who is a certified hospice pony and is allowed to visit folks in the hospital with a diaper and her little glitter shoes- Patty does some outstanding work all around and all focused on doing the best for people in need whatever the need may be.
A charming old farm house under constant upgrade and renovation greeted me with a familiarity that was welcoming and comforting. The room felt immediately like home, and Patty’s open heart and relaxed demeanor invited me to kick of my shoes and feel at home. We sat on the porch to catch up and only realized time had gone by when the evening announced its arrival by sunlight vanishing and the animals asking for dinner. After a lovely seafood meal, we prepared the brand new round pen as lecture hall for the next day’s movement method workshop.
Patty found funds to allow her volunteer staff to be trained in movement method. When folks arrived, I was amazed at the variety of amazing individuals and talents she had gathered to help her with her program. The farm has been servicing people with special challenges for ages, and the volunteers are top class. I felt honored (and a bit intimidated) to coach such amazing people. It quickly appeared that the group was really connecting and building a close trusting tribe. Their interest and engagement was outstanding, motivating me to give it my absolute best. We learned German in the swing park, explored poo in the woods, silly walked across the trails, and battled the heat with a passion for knowledge to help folks in need. It was one of the best and most effective workshops I have ever experienced. Even Hunter (my technology blessing, he could fix everything), who is using a wheel chair in school, did every activity and braced the heat- it blew my mind!
Two days of energizing work and learning from each other, ended way too fast. We all are hoping for the “spark” of change to catch fire. Patty’s farm is one of the few places where you are accepted the way you are. It allows for peace of mind. The feeling you do not have to change, but you can use what you have to bring the best to animals and others. Her horses, cats, and dogs have so much personality- and they all seem to want to help to heal. (Except maybe the fish- which one decided to nibble on my leg- maybe I was on his favorite rock…I did not get the hint and move but stayed put- so it got a bit more persuasive ;-)) But serious, I am not sure how she finds them, but her minis, horses, dogs, cats, it seems they all feel responsible to make you feel happy. The last evening I sat at her pond by myself, reflecting on the work we did- and here comes Patty’s mare Delilah almost walking in the pond and Sugarfoot the mini coming up for a cuddle- it seemed like it was a scene out of a movie….
Sugarfoot and Shanti are also hospice animals- that is what I would like if I am ever in such a suffering…It has been a blessing to give this workshop! I think all of us- me included- walked away inspired! I am grateful to Patty who has kept up the work and the distribution of the information. I think we are still making the difference we want to see.