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In June, I put the final coat of plaster on my cob gazebo. While having tea and reflecting in the warmth of my new structure, I realized how much the building process changed me. I wanted to share and see if there are other stories.
Our family has just come out of one the most stressful periods of our lives. My mother was critically ill and not surviving her chemo therapy well and my daughter was also ill. We spent one year with at least one family member on the verge of death. I never knew when I entered my daughter's room if I would find her dead. I blamed myself for any downturns in my daughter's illness. I thought maybe I said something wrong, or if I had just ..... she would be better. Finally, she needed more care than we could give her at home. We had just sent her off. I was a stressed out mess. After we set her up in a care facility my husband, my other daughter and I took a break and went to a cob workshop in Oregon. We came back with hopes and dreams of our own structure.
A year later I finally started to build. I was very inspired by Becky Bee's gazebo we saw while attending the workshop. My gazebo is a sculpture of our family's healing process. During the building process I found healing and praise God my mother and daughter found healing too. I ended up building most of the structure alone. As I built, we were repairing the fences and my neighbors got to share the building experience.
At first I was digging and my neighbors politely told me how crazy I
was. Through out the year, I found myself working out my feelings as I
sculpted parts of the structure. I sculpted a tree that was my family.
Each branch reaching to heaven. I
meditated on how my family was healthier when we worked together. I intertwined
the branches showing the tree reaching higher when they crossed each other.
I sculpted nooks that have special meaning and family symbols and my daughter
helped by sculpting what made her happy-I have a sculpture of our family
cat in our cob structure and a very warm face over my fire pit all wrapped
up in cob knot work, and three very lovely women on the outside of the
structure (inspired by Becky's structure).
My neighbors would come over and admire my hard work, but shake their heads at the weird structure. After a while, since the fences were down, I always had some company to talk to. I found that I needed less and less to make me happy. I learned about myself and about being patient, persevering,the importance of neighbors and my family enjoyed my healing process.
My cob is now complete. My neighbors are impressed and want one too. There are a few people in the neighborhood now interested in their own cob. My structure was in the local bi-monthly neighborhood newspaper. I gained healing and some new friends as well as new outlook on consumerism and just what makes me happy and strong.
Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your cob stories too. -Dana in Sacramento