The Gathering Room…


I am returning to my home, at the end of the week, 8 months after a fire burned it down except for the brick shell. Newly rebuilt it is my home and not my home, and the front room, where my 4 beloved parrots died that terrible night, stands empty. As I begin life there again I will slowly build this room, the entrance to my home, my heart, my soul. I call this room The Gathering Room. What will it say?

I have been preparing for weeks to go back. The bedroom had to be ready to sleep in, the kitchen to cook and eat in, The Cozy Room which is the little den between my studio and the kitchen, the room with the one television and the fireplace, with the laundry room adjacent, will be used right away. My studio had to be done right away, it is where I spend my days. These rooms had to have furniture, they had to be made ready to begin to live in again but I am not yet ready to use the room where my birds died, and it is a very different room. A room I barely used before I want it to be integral, the heart of the home, the room where people enter, the room where they will eat. I want to take my time and find an old table and chairs. I want to paint them turquoise, and violet, the color of the new walls. I want there to be plants, lots of plants, and light, and at this table we will sit and talk, have coffee or tea or a glass of wine, and other than meals we I will do fiber work or art, we will live at this table. In this one room more than any other the new life will be built, and it will be built piece by piece. Many quilts and pillows, vintage velvet gathered and sewn by hand. I will make soft dolls for my grandchildren there.

The room will tell the story of my life, and I have to build it myself, piece by piece by piece. I will write the story of my life there, and everyone who comes to visit will write a page for the book through the stories we will write in our time spent together.

I am more excited about this room than any other, but for now and for some time it will be an empty room until I am ready to face what I lost there, until I can bear to enter it and not hear my 4 precious babies singing and talking, coming out of their cages to give me kisses and play and ride around on my shoulder while I got them food and water. We must find each other again and say a proper goodbye. I will commune with their spirits. I will cry and I know they will reassure me. It is a house filled and surrounded with angels and now they will fly around me with the others.

A package will arrive at the house this week filled with bundles of sage, cedar, sweetgrass, lavender and more with the gift of a large beautiful feather with turquoise tied to it. The house must be properly saged to clear the energies, the screams, the tears, the terror, and the sorrow the night of the fire. The countless people who have been in the house since the fire, streams of insurance company people, the builders and their helpers, those who cleared debris, and all of the dark negative energy of little souls dying there. The Gathering Room will need saging most of all.

But this will be a room full of love, where people will enter and we will hug and kiss hello and goodbye. Where we will laugh and talk, where I will have a comfortable chair to sit to spin yarn and to weave — my looms must be there, and baskets of yarn, and crocks of knitting and crochet needles. There will be beds for the pugs in this room for when I am there — I bought a couple of new beds for every room in the house — and I will look out through the front windows and see people in the neighborhood. Before I lived in the back of the house and hid.

Maybe the Christmas tree will go in this room instead of in the back. I have always loved to see the houses on the street with their tree in the front windows. This year mine will be there with a little tree in my studio to bring the spirit in. I love Christmas, and the front porch is always hung with Christmas lights and hanging plants and windchimes. The tables will be laden with baskets of treats for trick-or-treaters, and plates of cookies beautifully wrapped to give to families and to friends as is my custom during the holidays. I have 12 birdfeeders on the deck that I look out onto from my studio. Now I can sit in The Gathering Room and watch the wild birds come to the front porch, and see the front gardens that I tend and seldom see.

So I am going home, and this empty room will give me space to dream my way into the hardest house to re-enter. Nothing is the same. My beloved Magic Ship has now been torn down and it, too, is a big empty corner where something precious filled the space. I will have to think about what I want to plant there. I saw it half torn down and felt like I, too, was gutted.

These 8 months have been filled with unexpected waves of losses, losses that I didn’t think I could bear, but it has been a time when I saw that I could survive, that I was stronger than I ever knew. It has been a time when I clung to what once was but finally began to imagine the new life possible there, a place that I had painted bright, cheerful colors, and bought new furniture with insurance money that I think will feel good, even though there wasn’t enough money to furnish it all, and there will be other rooms that will be half empty, at least it will feel like a home.

Finally I will be adopting another pug, a little senior girl to honor my beloved Sammy, and it looks like late fall there will be two little macaw babies coming that I will raise, one for my best friend who will be buying one for himself and one for me. The house will be filling up with new life, and the little guest room will be ready for friends who will come to visit. This home will be blessed and I am grateful that with the insurance company rebuilding the house, even better than before, it will be a happy house. I am ready to live again.

This room, my Gathering Room, feels like it is the key to everything. The new wall between it and the kitchen is only a half wall so that I can see through from one room to the room. I can re-enter the space a little at a time. I can peek over the wall until I am ready to fully enter it.

I am going home, and the house is ready to welcome me, and my 3 little pugs, and Miss Scarlett, the grey parrot. This time next week we will be there. I am ready to begin again.  Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.



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Heart” to you. Many blessings to one and all…

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. Eight months – such a long time to be in that in-between space. You have filled your new/old home with so much colour. The pugs and Miss Scarlett will fill it with love. Family and friends will fill it with laughter. And we will eagerly await the gradual evolution of the Gathering Room.

  2. Barbara Bischof says:

    Hmm 8 months almost a full term pregnancy ~ you’ve survived the delivery along the way, now for the joy to begin. I love that you are planning the return and the rooms carefully and thoughtfully. As Cathryn says we will eagerly await the Gathering Rooms evolution. Since you’re having your home smugged with sage , you could add another custom among many of the tribes (including mine), Place an empty basket or container by the front or back/ side door to leave troubles in as you enter or friends enter. As they leave they will find the basket empty and just possibly their troubles have gone too.
    Oh dear a kitty emergency.
    Are you getting the sage from someone else? I never heard back if you wanted my white sage? I can still send it off!
    So excited for you to be returning home.

  3. I’m so excited for you sweetie. You have shown life that you are quite the phoenix. I can imagine your home with your lovely descriptions. I also feel your loss of your bird babies. I know that they are with you even if you don’t see them. I wish you great gatherings, lots of love and support. I thank you from my heart for your lovely posters. They are beautiful and inspiring. <3

  4. Dragonfly Cottage will be welcoming you in the best way, with transformed space and color, ready to evolve into something fresh and new. And your garden has been waiting, too, for the care and love of the gardener to return, with a fallow season simply a time to rest and renew. Perhaps the front garden will be one of the keys to how the Gathering room unfolds.

    As you continue to create and deepen the new space, I wish you peace and joy in a time of new beginning, after a very long time of uncertainty, loss, and challenge.

  5. When I was young I thought that people had one emotion at a time. But we do have so many at the same time that we sometimes get confused and overwhelmed.
    When finding a feeling of true home rest returns.
    I’m so happy you’ll find a true home again. And the animals that died will look over the rainbow and be with you.


  6. I envision peace
    spontaneous creation
    gardens bursting forth

    I envision you
    queen of dragonfly cottage
    you have earned your crown

    We love the epic
    saga of maitri given us
    in gentle doses

    Yay — home is calling and you answer YES!!!


  7. What a sweet and precious piece. To “see” your joy and anticipation at moving HOME warms my heart. As Barbara observed — 8 months, nearly a full term pregnancy and the labor has been hard and painful to bring it forth. The gathering room will be awesome. I can hear its throbbing heartbeat. It is good that you take your time finishing it. Once you have lived there a while you will know exactly what and where you want everything in there. I hear you speaking of a different view than you had in the old house. change is good. You have been through so much. You deserve every ounce of joy and peace. Maitri, welcome home!

  8. Your post feels like you have new energy and hope and are in much better spirit.
    I love the idea of sageing your home. I send you blessings for the new beginning.

  9. I am so very happy for you! You have leaned into every obstacle you were forced to encounter, and you have come through victorious. With every step towards making this new home yours, I am with you. So excited to see how beautiful the rooms look! Love and blessings to you dearest Maitri!

  10. Thank you all so much. We are home and it is Soooooo wonderful. There is much to tell and I hope to do a new blog post about it all today or tomorrow. I am so tired, just allowing the house and I to seep back into one other. And the pugs are ecstatic blasting in and out of the doggie door with delight and rocketing around the yard and barking at their squirrels. We are home, and my whole body has kind of collapsed in that state where you have held it all together for so long finally everything is just a flood of feeling and emotion and it is all good now. And they SAVED so much more than I ever dreamed possible, and it is the precious tiny things that make me cry. My collection of spoolknitters, say, and the juxtaposition of the old and new is very touching indeed.

    We are here we are here we are here, and it is good. I absolutely cannot thank you all enough for your love and support all these hard days and months since the fire. I never could have imagined that it would be 8 months, one of those things best left unknown because you couldn’t bear it if you knew. Just one day at a time and finally it is here!

    Home. Yes. There is no place like home.

    Maitri, clicking her ruby slippers…

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