The Soulful Prairies Story
What is our story? It starts with a woman who had a crazy passion for horses and people and prairies; and when she found a little corner of the world in Woodstock it somehow felt like home. She really didn't know what the plan was and her husband thought that she was perhaps truly mad but he believed in her and instinctively knew that this project was going to fill her up in a way she couldn't even imagine. Despite his doubts and reservations, he strapped a pair of strong beautiful wings on her back and encouraged her to fly.
The first time I stepped on the land that is now Soulful Prairies I felt instantly connected. I don't know why. All the buildings were falling down, and there were weeds everywhere. The property was a complete mess but I could feel the energy of what was to be.
The land at Soulful Prairies was previously an apple orchard and petting farm, with some areas in nursery stock. The first years we spent time knocking things down, mowing weeds and bringing electricity down the long quarter mile road. There was a very steep learning curve to finding the answers and making good decisions. Those were the years of building~ building my confidence, building buildings and building a business.
Through the curves of learning, I mastered climbing on a tractor and clearing land. I created systems for caring for the horses and other animals in the rain and snow and below zero temperatures. I became part of the herd in the most amazing ways. My most common line was, "We'll figure it out." I could hold my own with any contractor, just ask. I created a website, handled my own invoicing, crept through the maze of insurance, created forms, scheduled clients and hired employees. I also found that all this work makes for the deepest sleep I have ever known.
I learned to trust that things will be hard and then easy and then hard again; that I won't always be able to see where I'm going and what I'm doing; that being stubbornly independent doesn't always work and there is much joy in partnering with other amazing and talented people. There are countless people who have been a part of this Soulful Prairies story.
I watched my kids grow in ways I didn't even know were available to them. They learned the exhaustion and pride that comes from a day of physical labor. They've seen the stress that comes from owning and running your own business while also observing the exhilaration that fills you up. Unknowingly, they gave me the security to keep going when I was sure I couldn't go it alone. They have been the wind beneath those beautiful wings my husband gifted me.
My equine partners have also encouraged me along the bumpy roads. Their keen sense of knowingness and ability to heal surpassing my own skills on many occasions, has left me breathless.
As the property took physical shape, I really had to own my purpose. That part of the story continues to unfold, but I can tell you that I find the most joy in seeing people reshape themselves. We are here on this planet to experiment, seek, fall and get back up again, all the while becoming more and more of who we are really meant to be. If I can be a stepping stone to helping someone along their travels of exploration I am grateful and honored.
Soulful Prairies is also exploring its destiny each day. We have created a sanctuary for the native wildlife with the help of the land conservancy. We are the home to bees. We have been the home base for some start up groups that are birthing their own ideas. We have raised funds for some fascinating and dedicated organizations and the hosting of workshops around topics that are near and dear to the mission of Soulful Prairies continues to be a meaningful part of our work. I will continue to pay attention to Soulful Prairies wise energy and be the conduit for projects that promote good.
The chapters to our story continue to be written and the calling an ever changing imperfect master piece. We look forward to all that is to come.
Where it all began..
The Soulful Prairies Story
I knew the property that Soulful Prairies is now on before the Bruce’s owned it. The land was abused and neglected. Now when I walk around I see native plants
that you just don’t see anymore in the wild. They’re coming back because the land is being cared for. The land has so much to tell us, if we take the time to listen.
I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that this special place is being treated with the love and respect that it deserves. ~ Linda B - McHenry County Land Conservancy