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The Sanctuary: Letter from Ann Mortifee

By Ann Mortifee. Posted on March 3, 2021 in Stories + Recipes, Wisdom + Wellness

Over 30 years ago, when Hollyhock opened its doors, I gave my very first workshop there and fell in love with the land, the people, the vision, and the purpose. When the Sanctuary was built – with its organic, beautiful, and sacred presence – I felt that it became a centre for the heart of Hollyhock. I have spent hours there with participants, with visiting friends, and on quiet times alone.

Our Sanctuary is getting older and is in need of tending. I am hopeful that you will feel moved to join me by making a donation on behalf of the Sanctuary.

When Dana Bass Soloman became CEO of Hollyhock 20 some years ago, she asked those of us who had been involved for a long time what we thought Hollyhock needed most. I took her on a walk to the Sanctuary. I told her that I felt we needed to make the space more cosy and comfortable. The two of us went and bought a carpet together and laid it down. The next day we walked through the orchard and met two other women on the path. The four of us sat in a circle in the middle of the new carpet and asked for a blessing from the spirits of the place, the plants and animals of the land, and for all those who would come and find harmony there. At the end of our prayer, we opened our eyes, and there, looking peacefully through the window was a beautiful big buck. He stood quietly for a long time gazing at us. We all felt he had come to say, “You have been heard and your prayer is answered.”

That precious moment moved us all so deeply and the remembrance of this moment it is why I am writing to you. While Hollyhock has many needs in light of the global pandemic, the care of this sacred place feels incredibly important to me. The living green roof is leaking and the earthen structure will not do well with too much water falling on it day after day. We are coming together to raise $50,000 to protect this special place, and we already have $15,000 towards that goal. I invite all of you who have been touched by your time at Hollyhock to share what you can so that we can begin work in the early spring to protect and revitalize our lovely building.

Sending you love from this beautiful Island,
– Ann Mortifee, Hollyhock Presenter

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