I already knew that I would be moving into the Trailer Park beyond Lake Shunyata when I joined the staff at Shambhala Mountain Center a month after my first visit. I knew that a cluster of ladies were living there with plans to create a pacific paradise–wildflowers, hammocks and gardens on the hill. Each April, core staff move from their winter abodes in Rigden Lodge back to housing sprinkled all over Shambhala Mountain Center. In addition to making more room for program participants, this affords core staff the unique opportunity to live close to the land. I knew that I was excited.
When I arrived, Ian the Travel Coordinator helped me to drag the 2 large suitcases I had brought with me from New York City through knee-deep snow and we used our hands to dig out the front door. Upon shoulder-blocking the door open, the musty smell of a room that had been closed for months hit us. I spied pieces of lumber, a dingy couch, some cans of old paint, and the power was out. I quickly accepted the invitation to stay in Rigden Lodge until I could get the trailer into inhabitable shape.
Close to a month later, I am happily installed in my breezy, sweet, light-filled trailer. In between work hours and on the weekends, I invested several coats of paint and considerable elbow grease into the trailer and some resourcefulness into finding furnishings around the land. There is a lot of joy in creating and caring for one’s own space–perhaps more than if it is presented, ready-made.
Much of the housing on the land is quickly eroded from weathering the harsh mountain elements and the Facilities staff is hard-pressed to keep up with the materials and resources needed to keep employees and guests in safe, comfortable housing. We have a Development fund specifically designated to the upkeep of Staff Housing to which you can contribute. If you would like to donate goods or services in-kind (construction materials, paints, furnishings, native plants), my email is firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (970) 881-2184 x 386