If You Build It
"We just don't recognize life's most significant moments while they're happening. Back then I thought, 'Well, there'll be other days.' I didn't realize that that was the only day." - Field of Dreams, 1989
"Whatcha doin'?" squeaked Ophelia.
"Digging holes," grunted Mike as he hauled another chunk of clay cladded stone out of the rocky Pennsylvania soil.
"I thought you were erecting a yurt, why are you going down into the ground like a worm?"
I thought I detected a faint shutter when Ophelia mentioned worms. "Sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can achieve lofty heights," I informed her as Mike started up the engine of the auger again.
"Why are you doing this?" she asked with a tone that suddenly reminded me that despite her whimsy and childish demeanor, she was ancient; she'd seen more than I could ever fathom existed.
"Ophelia, people will come. They'll come to Wanderer for reasons they can't even fathom, but like moths to a flame, they will see our beacon in the darkness and they will come. They'll turn up in our driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at our door as innocent as children, longing for something they don't even know they are missing. Of course we won't mind if you look around, we'll say. Walk the trails, soak in the energy that you can't find anywhere else, for this place is unique. It's only $10 to be a member we'll say and they'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. They'll find they have reserved seats at one of our dozen altars; they'll kneel down in prayer and add to the collective voice of all those who have come before and all those who will come after, and they will know that they are not alone. They will dip their feet in our sacred creek as if they are being dipping in magic water; they will feel their souls washed clean of the dirt and the noise of the world and they will once again see the light that burst forth into the world upon their birth. People will come Ophelia. The one constant, through all the years of human existence, is the knowledge that they are part of a greater whole and the unending search to feel that oneness once again and know that they are not alone. Countries have risen, civilizations have fallen. Like a blackboard, the world has been erased and built again and erased again, but humans have marked the time one connection, one interaction at a time and persevered through every hardship and every miracle in search of that oneness. This place, it reminds us all that once it was good and it could be good again. Oh…people will come Ophelia. People will most definitely come," I finished with unfaltering faith in our mission.
"What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger on the bus trying to make His way home?" - One of Us by Joan Osborne
"How did I get here you ask?" said Lilatheen. "It is something I have asked myself over and over. I'm not sure how to explain this to myself sometimes, let alone you, but you are the one who really needs to know, to understand, that I'm just like you, really."
"The wind carries their cries away, Till the dawn of the ever distant and forgotten day." - Whispering Winds by Jason Heffner
Her hair was several shades of blue, wavy and unmanageable. In fact, she's the one who taught me how to dye my hair. Like her spiritual manifestation that I met in the woods, her physical form is short and lithe. 'My skin is too golden and my eyes are too far apart, if you ask me,' she said to me one day, 'but we are always our worst critics aren't we?'
Lilatheen continued her story, "I sat at a table with some friends, enjoying the warm July night. The crickets were singing, the fireflies were blinking and the mosquitoes were biting. I swear mosquitoes are the real form of vampires! Maybe if I eat more garlic, they won't think I taste so good. My train of thought was broken, not by the conversation around me, sorry if that seems rude, sometimes my mind just wanders. Anyway, my train of thought was broken by a chorus of voices heard by my inside ear. Someone who is clairvoyant is said to see things with their third eye. Well, I wasn't seeing something, I heard it, clairaudient. The voices weren't coming from my own thoughts as they were currently centered around the extreme itching occurring on my tattoo covered calf. And it wasn't being picked up as sound by the two normal ears positioned on the outside of my head. So I stopped scratching my leg, cocked my head to the side and listened harder. 'Lilatheen, we are The People. We need you. You are the ancient goddess of the flowing, joyous waters. You hold the strands of our fate in your hands. You are the Power of Willful Creation.'
"I'm what? I reacted. I know I walk the line between eccentric and crazy, landing more often than not, on the side of eccentric. I've had experiences that only the old stories, the ones we are told are fictional, can explain. But, I'm what? No. That's not possible. I'm human. I was born. I'll die. Well, I think I'll die. I used to be able to see my own future but my future ended two years ago. But, I'll die, that's a safe assumption. That's it, it's happened, I finally went bat shit crazy. Only, there I was, sitting at a table on a beautiful summer night. I didn't feel crazy. I wasn't acting crazy. How do you define crazy?" Lilatheen asked, but I didn't have an answer to that, and I’m pretty sure she didn't expect one, so I held my tongue and let her continue.
"Hearing that call from the nebulous ether that is both everything and nothing, both here and there, that was the moment I truly woke up. The moment I became more than a strange human with some unusual abilities. Sometimes the most important and profound and reality altering things happen in pieces so small, we don't even know they are happening until it's over. Looking back on this human incarnation, I can tell you a hundred stories of the baby steps I took to that moment and a hundred more that happened afterward. But in that moment, I heard the call and came unto myself. I am a God, a Yaidialize, incarnate. Nothing was ever the same again and yet nothing was really any different. My whole life I've been different, I just didn't understand how different, or why. Not that being different made me any better than you. I've not lived a charmed life full of miracles and perfection. Maybe it'd be better if I give you some examples, let you get to know me as a person. Maybe then you won't grow to hate me, maybe, even, you might become my friend. Isn't that all any of us really want? Someone to know us? To understand us? To love us?"
"I will call you by name, I will share your road. But hold me fast, hold me fast, 'Cause I'm a hopeless wanderer." - Hopeless Wanderers by Mumford & Sons
How Did We Get Here?
The idea to re-open Wanderer at our home in Telford was born in the wake of death. And isn't that the way it should be? All things, they have their season and their reason. My dear friend, mentor and guide of over 15 years lost her husband to cancer. As we all gathered to honor his life and his memory, it brought together a handful of people and a discussion of need. We always think, one day, someday, but how many of us realize that sacred moment when this is THE day? Well, that day, in that moment, the memory of Lilatheen's story nudged me, reminded me of the call she once heard and told me that I too must answer. I realized that Wanderer wasn't dead, The People still needed us, still needed the primordial divine beings and after 2 1/2 years of healing from the first Wanderer store's sudden demise, it was time for a resurrection and a reinvention, into something better and more important than a retail outlet. What The People were asking for was hope, community, guidance and we were in a position to offer it.
Grand Opening & Store HoursGrand Opening
Friday, October 5th 7pm - 11pm:
Tour of the property and trails 7:30pm
Shopping all evening
Feel free to bring your own lawn chairs, food & drinks to the bonfire.
Book signing by author and co-owner A. Devia all evening
Saturday, October 6th 1pm -6pm:
Shopping all day
Book signing by author and co-owner A. Devia all day
Tour of the property and trails upon request
Store Hours beginning 10/8/18:
2nd Saturdays 11am - 5pm
Wanderer Spiritual Center
930 Camp Rd.
Telford, PA 18969
Can't make our Grand Opening? Telford too far away? Don't worry! We'll come to you!
The first Wanderer Wonders quarterly subscription boxes will ship January 15th, 2019. There will be a limited number of boxes available, so to receive a notification when the first boxes are available for purchase, click the "Subscribe" button in the upper right corner of your screen!