Adytum began in 1995 as a spiritual dream. It began with a relationship that was spiritual in its inception. We fell in love spiritually before we did intellectually or physically…Before that, there was desire. Desire for Adytum, the dream that was growing in each of us before we knew each other. Adytum has roots outside space and time. Just as our lives were coalescing into a soul mated oneness with incredible speed once we met (a whole other story in itself with God’s fingerprints all over it), so this sacred space was already planned and determined by God.
I wanted to live in a spa setting, a healing retreat, and share it with other like minded individuals. Donn wanted a soiree; a meeting of other great minds. Both of us wanted a spiritual retreat. It was our individual dreams…and now apparently our shared dream.
We discovered this early on in our relationship as we talked late into the night one April in my living room at Rosebriar. It was so astonishing to discover that we both wanted the same thing…and we were strangers just months before. In many ways, this shared dream brought us together – that and our shared spiritual journey -and it has taken 16 years to materialize it and all the faith we had and more.
Donn married into a full household, three children and a five acre hobby farm with horses and a large organic garden close to the Capitol Forest. Between leaving the world of personal training and assisting in teaching the Diet and Exercise class at Tumwater Valley in Olympia, Washington, I began to work with Donn learning to manage Medical Vision Center in Morton – about an hour and fifteen minutes away. We commuted ten solid years, while raising my children and growing in our spiritual life. I had asked God before Donn came into my world for “a man I could work shoulder to shoulder with, serving the Lord.” My prayers were being answered on multiple fronts.
When my children were raised, I promised to move closer to our practice. I was so bonded to Rosebriar, the little farm and wasn’t sure that promise was really for sure. I hoped we would just stay. But I was true to my word and strangely, God allowed me to keep Rosebriar and it has never sold… We settled on a five acre parcel overlooking Lake Mayfield, and both the Cowlitz and Tilton Rivers which flow into Mayfield. To the south, we see the DeGoedes Bulb Farm and the blueberry fields now owned by Pan American Farms but for years they were privately owned. And lovely farms, valleys, and mountain ranges all around…I can see for miles and miles and miles.
I never dreamed when I asked God, back at Rosebriar while doing the dishes one day and looking back to the end of our land to “enlarge my boundaries”that Adytum would be the result. I had no idea about the “Jabez” book either that was telling others to ask that. I just knew in my heart I had to see farther…more. I became like the sight hound, the Borzoi, I owned…it was necessary to see far for her. And so it was for me too.
The day we decided on this life at Adytum in Mossyrock, we stood on a stump trying to imagine what the view would be like. Evidently we were shown this very parcel of land once before and turned it down…God must have been in angst that we were missing it yet again…strangely…miraculously no house had ever been built on this land. Only the Cowlitz tribe had passed over her back…The owner hadn’t opened up the view to the lake the first time we saw it, and all we saw was a very hard road in and a closed off forest of alder, Big Leaf Maple and Grand and Douglas Fir. Nothing worth moving for. Or so we thought.
This time, God sent in the heavenly troops. I had been reading Bullinger’s “Number in Scripture” and was familiarizing myself with Biblical numerology, the significance of numbers in scripture. First two huge raptors flew in. To this day, I’m not sure what they were. Then another two. When they started circling over our heads, this caught our attention. Then another two and another two until there were eight all flying in a circle over Donn, Paul the realtor and myself… As we stood overlooking the lovely Lake Mayfield, still indecisive for some reason unbeknownst to me at this moment…we realized that a clear omen was being presented. You see, in Biblical numerology the number eight is the number of new beginnings. And we signed on the dotted line, at full asking price, for our new beginning here on this land.
So this is how it all began. One day I will tell you how God began to provide financially for building the Castle Adytum. We never called it that but it seems everyone else does. And so perhaps it is with her stone walls, her three turrets and spires thrusting up into the sky on the hill overlooking Mossyrock.
Suffice it say, we are living daily in “the realm of all possibility”, as Emily Dickinson would say. It is a world of life by faith, calling down miracles and creating means out of thin air. It is practice for heaven where our word (and here…) is a creative force and we are co-creators with God. We have received provision for the next phase over and over again when all resources were exhausted. We have received strength to go on when that went by the wayside as well…
Building Adytum, then building Adytum into a Retreat to share with others has been the biggest step toward the life of faith we could have ever imagined. It is simply so far beyond us, and our original vision, that we know it is of God and therefore, God continues to finish what He started back in 1995 with our shared dream.
We are learning to dream big, to “go out on a limb because that is where the fruit is”, as Frank Skully once said, and to “never, never, never, never, never give up” as Winston Churchill admonished, no matter how impossible the dream seems and how worn thin we become.
We had the realtor return to Adytum who sold us the land. Paul said, “Some people talk about their dreams. You two are honestly the only people I’ve ever known who actually accomplished them…”
Well Paul, it was all God. If it were us, we’d be woefully embarrassed. We’d have the frame of a castle and nothing more. God took our “green-ness” into account and made provision for that too. Not only did He provide financially, but He has proven to be full of grace and an unusually great sense of humor while our lessons are being administered.
Creating Adytum for many to share has also entailed creating a depth of spirit in each of us that we never dreamed of. Hillary Clinton said, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Well, it takes all of heaven’s angels and God Himself to build the Castle Adytum. And He isn’t done yet. Day by day we turn in dependence upon His grace and mercy to meet the next round of expenses and pay the faithful workmen He sends.
Consequently, the halls of Adytum, the very walls have absorbed countless prayers as has the soil of the land where prayers are laid down with each footprint…our walking meditations asking day by day for what we need to complete this enormous four year project.
People who come never, ever fail to comment on the great peace that rests on Adytum and her lands. Those that are spiritual and those that are not all feel it. You will feel it too. Adytum, if you didn’t know, means “sanctuary” in Greek. But it isn’t a sanctuary like one might think. It is the sanctuary entered into without a door…the sanctuary of the human heart where God resides if we let Him…the sanctuary where we commune, fellowship and sup with Him as friend and Lover. The sanctuary that remains regardless of any outward circumstance…
Rumi, great Persian poet and mystic from the 1200’s said he could be walking through a baking hot desert with his camel but in reality be “in a garden communing with the Friend”….he understood the sanctuary, the Adytum within…it is no place, it is the Reality in each of us.
It is now June 2010 and Adytum is nearly complete. It is actually sixteen years since the first night Donn and I sat in my humble Rosebriar house in Olympia, sharing our mutual dream of living in a spa, sharing it with others as healing retreat, and enjoying the great meeting of the minds with our guests. We know that God is already drawing those to this sacred space who will come to be blessed, and also bless us in return. It has begun to happen…and it is immensely, intensely gratifying to us both…
We are still living as though in “the heavenlies”, practicing His presence moment by moment…living in the secret Kingdom where our faith and our words create out of thin air, literally. We live there symbolically, but literally too as Adytum and her turrets and spires are thrust up into the atmosphere…the sky is our home like the birds of the air…the upper canopy of ancient, tall trees that have been long on the earth our view…the inspired music we fill our home’s walls with lifts us further into the 4th dimension and we know without a doubt that we live with angels here….