The Death of The Magic Ship…


I can’t, of course, say for sure, but I believe I am the only person in the history of the world that bought a house because it had an old ship in the back yard. It was September 2009 — oh, a chill went down my spine as I typed that because I just realized that it was this time of year that I first fell in love with the place that would finally be my Dragonfly Cottage, the real one, the one I had been searching for for 15 years. It had been a philosophy, a way of life, a deep dream, and every place I lived from April of 1999 until February 2010 I called Dragonfly Cottage, but these dear places were always more a state of mind, a foreshadowing, the shape of things to come.

I have to pause here for a minute to say that I am reeling a bit realizing that I found the house in September 2009 and fell in love with it because of the ship which was a ruin. When I bought the place in January 2010 it was peeling, grey, pitiful, and had an old child’s yellow slide falling off the side. I had it power washed and repaired, then painted 3 glorious colors — bright orange, candy pink, and orchid — and the slide was removed and the staircase built. Such a solid ship it was that we have climbed up and stood on her deck countless times, looking over the gardens and to the cottage off the bow, and from the high deck we looked back through the woods to our creek. The pugs and I that is, and a few family members and dear friends. And what is most poignant of all is that some unnamed father built this ship for his children. I know this because if you were to go around the left of the ship to the back there is a small, child-sized door that opens into a little cabin with little berths, a table and chairs, a whole playhouse. I think of the children who once played joyfully in the belly of this majestic ship. Amazingly life-sized and while cut a little short in the back finished off beautifully with a rudder and all.

It is all a sad dream now, and tears are running down my cheeks as I write this. Did I have to lose my ship too? The fire was bad enough but the week after the fire when the pugs and I were holed up in the hotel we would be in for a month there was another ice storm and it sent a tree hurling into the side of my beloved ship. When I found out it nearly killed me. The losses just kept piling up, and this one cut especially deep.


I was informed about the damage some time after the fire, that a tree had fallen into it during the second ice storm, but I had no idea how bad it was. No one had noticed, so busy were they with dealing with the burned down house. They did demolition all the way through the inside of the house, even through the one car attached garage, and the only reason that they could rebuild was because it was a brick house on a concrete slab. Everything else was gone, the roof had to be torn off and a whole new roof put on. All new windows. All new everything. The first time I saw it all there were only a few charred studs inside. It was such a terrible shock I felt like I had been shot looking at it for the first time. I doubled over and felt sick and as though I would fall to my knees. The aftermath of  a bad fire is a terrible thing. I have never been hit so hard by anything in my life.

Finally the guys who who have a little landscaping company came and cleaned up the yard and got the tree out of the ship. I knew they had but it was still another 2+ months before I got out there and looked at it. It just took my breath away. Like the iceberg hitting the Titantic the tree did irreparable damage and she is sinking. The mermaid fell to her death, having sat proudly on the bow of the ship in Mermaid Cove, watching out over the magical gardens that someone once said looked like a Dr. Seuss book, but the ship was the Grand Dame of the place and I can’t imagine life there without her, but I must, for she is coming down.

The damage is too bad. I don’t have the money to repair her and it would be a huge job. It isn’t just the side of the ship, the deck was crushed and that would mean rebuilding the whole front of the ship. And I’m told that it is now rotting inside. My heart sank. So many losses, just so many. And there is a large creek on my property the other side of the fenced  yard and that would mean that the ship could fill up with rats, snakes, or other vermin, and this is in our yard, the pugs play there and I garden all around and we can’t have the ship there falling down and becoming a hazard. The only thing that even helps me with this is the knowledge that my precious pugs could be at risk and that just won’t happen.


I had planned to write more, much more, I had planned to write about how this happening on the eve of us returning home makes the move back even more painful, but I don’t have the energy to go there tonight. I love my Magic Ship deeply and with my whole heart. She represents the magic that I long for in my life and never really had until I met her. The fire was filled with death in so many ways. The death of a dream, the death of all that I had hoped and planned and worked toward. The beginning of the dissolution of my animal family. It began with the parrots way before the pugs.

In the past few days my best friend, Jeff, had arranged to get me a beautiful baby macaw that I could handfeed and raise and I wanted it so badly that I am choked up writing about it now, oh I wanted that baby. He said he thought it would help me bridge the gap between the life that was so dear to me and was lost and the unfamiliar life I am about to re-enter. But as badly as I want that baby, as badly as I want to raise and kiss and love and feed and cherish that baby I simply cannot take the wee one in because I am 60 years old and any baby I raise today will outlive me. A macaw could live for 60 or 70 years. I will not. And when I raise a baby I put my whole life in there with its life. We fall in love, passionately. And that baby would grieve my passing, maybe even unto starving itself to death out of grief. I will not do that to a precious baby. I will not. I may hurt, I may ache, I may feel lonely and scared, but I can deal with that. I will not put that on a precious innocent animal that did not choose it.

BlueMaitri_2014-09-11 16.jpg

What I would love most of all is to adopt another pug or two. Seniors, like my sweet Sammy who recently passed, because people don’t want seniors they want young dogs. But I love the older ones, the disabled, the ones with issues that don’t make them easily adoptable, but at the same time I have had this nightmare year I have come to the place where I had to apply for disability and I don’t know how I am going to be able to afford life at all and vet bills for 3 pugs can get pretty scary but my babies always have the best of everything, I would give up food for myself to feed my babies but I can’t afford to take more on right now and that hurts because so very many need homes and I would love to adopt. Oh, how this hurts my heart. If I knew I could cover vet bills I would go ahead, but I don’t yet know how I will manage my own life. I trust that all will be well but there is no clear path to well-being that has revealed itself yet.

Finally, I have one last thing to share, I started to earlier but I got sidetracked. I am going to write this down here because I really want to understand and I believe that someone reading this, maybe a number of people, will have insights. These things are, to me, deeply significant, but I am not in a very good place to put my energy into trying to figure it out, and yet, I think if I understood maybe it would help me move forward.

If the answer is in the stars, with the angels, in numerology, psychology, or parapsychology and you have an idea what it means — and please, no random guessing here, I can’t bear that, I mean people out there who are experienced and for whom, perhaps, there was a lightning bolt realization when you read this, if you have any insights for me please comment below. It would mean the world to me. I will type it out and then close because my heart is sagging and I am weary just now. It has taken me days to write this much. Let me, first, take a deep breath ….

 writing the ships passing story
I found this house in September 2009 and while it was a sweet little older home it was the unbelievable ship in the back of the back yard that took my breath away. Instantly it was my Magic Ship and it was restored and became the focal point of a large garden with a series of little buildings and gated gardens painted to match it. The Dragonfly Cottage Magic Ship Garden it was, and thousands of people have fallen in love with it, just as I did.

Sept. 2009. Met the ship, Fell in love. Bought the place a few months later because of the ship.

September 2o14 I move back in after a devastating fire in Feb. But Sept. 2014, just before I move back in, the Magic Ship will be demolished and sink into the sands of time and disappear from my life.

September the ship arrives, September the ship leaves.


Finally, I found my beloved Dragonfly Cottage and moved in in the first days of February, 2010.

February 5, 2014 the cottage burned to the ground and it was the beginning of  year of unimaginable losses, one after the other, like Jacob’s ladder, falling falling falling falling…. and now I go home with 4 of my beloved parrots lost in the fire, my sweet Sam passing just 3 weeks ago, any security I might have had vanishing in the wind, and the death of my beloved Magic Ship before I can even return home… and so much more, so much that I don’t have the emotional energy to write.

September, September,

February, February.

What does it mean?



Make this the year your resolutions come true!

Make this the year your resolutions come true!


  1. I don’t have any insights to offer and all comfort would seem trite. I mourn with you, I too don’t understand why your ship at least couldn’t have been spared. Tonight is not the night to talk about phoenixes, except to say one external representation of your magic died with the ice storm–but I do not believe, with all my heart, that the Magic Ship is gone forever and I know that it does live on in your photos and memories and stories, just as you taught me that Firefly Cottage does too. Your Magic Ship will resurface in another form (or perhaps even in its own form one day) and there is just so much magic and love in you, Maitri, that nothing can stop that as long as you are breathing.

    So please keep breathing. We need you and love you, the world needs you, your puggles need you and so does Miss Scarlet and any other animal or bird that comes your way (age 60 or not).

    Tonight is the right time to mourn for everything that was, but the story is not ended as long as you breathe. We are with you as you enter this new chapter in your life. It is a painful beginning–and I hope you have arranged some physical real support, because memories and flashbacks may hit you like a ton of bricks, as they are doing now. Do you have a support plan for your move? If not, that would be a good, practical thing to put in place.

  2. Although you shared your fears about the Magic Ship, the finality of loss is hard to bear. I wish I knew what it all meant. I don’t. All I know is that right now I feel a hole in my heart where the Magic Ship once sailed. I send you tear-stained love.

  3. The first thought that came to me is that life is a circle. I’ve had circles in my life, too. My parents oldest child, a son, was born and died in November 1957…My own son was born in November of 1987. I was born in December 1958…My dear grandfather died on my birthday in 1988. My younger sister died in the first week of September 1991….My “blessing”, my daughter, was born in the first week of September 1993. Even our marriage is part of a circle…we married on my in-law’s 27th anniversary. Good things and bad things interlapping throughout our lives…a sign that there is a plan to this life or a sign that out of bad comes good? I don’t know but the rhythm of the universe has a beat that repeats whether we understand it or not. I’m sad for all your losses because no one deserves peace and love more than you who gives such gifts to others. It will be interesting to see if your pink orbs are still in residence or maybe they have completed their mission…..

  4. 1992….My daughter was born almost one year to the day of my sister’s death. I didn’t plan these pregnancies to be like that…

  5. I too mourn with you sweet Maitri. There will always be magic Maitri. Tears here too. To know you are hurting so and I can’t wrap you in a big hug and wipe away your tears. I have no doubt that your pink orbs will remain there and will protect and comfort you. Your ship is not gone. For as long as you can close your eyes and see it in her glory, she is there. Her spirit will never leave you. Same with the spirits of your wee parrots and sweet Sam. The hurt will heal, not be so stunningly sharp, but become a dull ache but my hope is that the new beginning will bring you a new joy and new wisdom to bring to your sisters. I don’t know the meanings of all these things but I do know that it all brings you to a new place both externally and internally. One day at a time, one hour at a time, on minute at a time. There are so many good things coming. Your creator and your angels know exactly what your future holds. And we are all here to send you love and prayers and virtual hugs. Do you still have my phone number. Take me up on it. any time…… I always wanted a little sister…..

  6. The insight that kept coming to me as I read your post is that Dragonfly Cottage and the Magic Ship dwell in your heart and spirit forever, as they were before you saw the physical structures, they are there like the real places we visit in books and meditations. I sometimes say the older I get the more dead people I know. At a certain point I knew that they are still with us but unable to be seen, as though behind a curtain. I have never felt the need to square this with any religious viewpoint, I just know it to be true. So, in that space where the well-loved departed dwell are dear people, dear pets and dear places that can not be seen by our eyes for now.

  7. Like Karrie I see the circles, in my life too.
    Things come back, in a different place in a different form. And each time it comes back it has a message. First at the outside, then travelling inward, and then inward. Like it has to grow part of myself and I don’t need the outward anymore. So many things have undergone that process of internalization that I feel I carry them with me and can live everywhere without feeling lost.
    Strangely enough my dead friends feel as close as those who are still alive. That has been clearer since facing death so close last year.
    I wonder now if I will carry them with me to a next life.
    The ship has been an inspiration for many. It still is. Maybe it’s disappearance will reveal…. in time…. something else very precious.
    It all has brought you the knowledge that quite some lovely people are in your life and won’t be going.

  8. I’m sorry for your grief. It is quite palpable. As much as you loved your cottage and ship they are things. Things are replaceable. The deeper meaning may be that you fear the loss of the dream. That can’t be taken from you. It resides in your heart and soul. Inside you is the cottage and the ship. Symbols of things you long for. What you have is priceless and irreplaceable. You have a group of people who love and support you. Let us be your ship and your cottage. Let our circling arms support your creation. Fire, nature can’t destroy us. Sending you hugs and belief in your calling. 🙂

  9. Circles and cycles, yes, but there’s more to it than that. I’ll see if I can translate the “woo-woo” into English…
    February is the start of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is usually associated with New Beginnings. September has the Fall Equinox, and is traditionally the time of Pagan Thanksgiving and the Main Harvest. Although you can give thanks for 1) still being breathing, upright, and mobile and 2) having a home to move back into, I think we need to look at the Southern Hemisphere for greater clarity.
    In places like Australia and South Africa, February is the start of Autumn – and the start of the season involves Releasing before you can Receive. September “down under” is also the Spring Equinox – a time of planting seeds and starting dreams. It sounds to me, just by reading and feeling, that you’re tapping into the energies on the other side of the world. This is not as big a surprise as it might seem, since there’s been much talk about the “Reversing of the Poles,” and it feels like THIS is what the reversal entails.
    Having said all that…2014 has really been the year of Dissolving Every Thing Remaining from the Old Reality (before 12/21/12) and bringing us face to face with our unresolved and still stuck Shadows. “You’ve still got this stuff here. What are you going to do about it?” is the question of the year. So we’ve been scraping the very bottom of our spiritual barrels to make absolutely sure there’s nothing noxious or toxic remaining in them before the renewing rains come in and fill us back up.
    I don’t think your dream has totally died, lovey; I think it just needed to be uprooted out of the old soil it had been planted in and transplanted to fresh new fertile soil. And you are totally not the only one going through this massive transplantation. And I still say Crowdfunding can help you bring back your magic ship. 🙂

    Blessed Be,
    Victoria SkyDancer

  10. Dear Maitri,
    You have loved the Magic Ship and made memories with it and now it is time for some new experiences in the garden. I remember after Hurricane Fran, the devastation of the botanical garden. However new gardens took the place of the deeply shaded groves of trees.They are beautiful in new ways. And from the photos you have shared, Dragonfly Cottage itself now has many of the colors of the Magic Ship.

    Through this journey, you have been so strong and now looking forward to going home with the puggies. If you want the macaw, make arrangements for care in the way future. Or foster a senior pair of pugs for MAPR. You have so may options, so follow your heart and what will make you feel truly happy at this time.

    Oh, and yes there are cycles in life, as I agree with Victoria SkyDancer. Acknowledge, accept and move forward is how I handle these types of events. Sending you positive energy as you move forward into this new chapter of your very exciting life.
    Always, Lisa Wimpfheimer

  11. oh the seasons they go round and round
    and the painted ponies go up and down
    we’re captive on the carousel of time
    you can’t return you can only look
    behind from where you came
    and go round and round and round
    on the circle game

    we can’t return we can understand the past and integrate it and move into the present/future. even the magic ship has sailed.
    dragonfly cottage is a phoenix rising. and so are you, beautiful woman

  12. Your pain and your sharing stories about your pain has given me strength to adjust my way of thinking about my pain and I am stronger, much stronger! Thank you for that gift! My hope for you is that you continue to find Blessings and your suffering ends. You are a Gift from God and you deserve only good things to come!

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