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Woods Walker Online

My Life as a Rural Farmer, Horseman, Father and Businessman

At work at Healing Through Horses, the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy practice I co-founded three years ago.
At work at Healing Through Horses, the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy practice I co-founded three years ago.

I am a sixty-three year old man who is constantly amazed by where my life has taken me. I work two days a week at an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy practice, Healing Through Horses, that I co-founded three years ago, I partner with my son in his hard cider business, Norumbega Cidery, I raise mulefoot pigs, I run, with my wife of forty years, a musical venue, the Village Coffeehouse, in our church’s vestry, I am in the process, along with my family, of raising and training an English Shepherd puppy, Mocha, to be a deterrent to deer in our son’s young orchard and I tend to a barn that houses two horses, twelve geese a rooster, chickens and am in the process of building a winter shelter for my sow and my boar.

With the pigs.
With the pigs.

At this stage of a man’s life, one would typically expect a slowdown in activity, a reward for a life spent in providing for one’s family but I find myself becoming even busier as the years roll by and the projects I created and support take on lives of their own. This is not a bad thing. It keeps me engaged with a life that is richer that I ever could have envisioned. I am learning new shills and am outside and physically active every day as I tend to all of the various threads of my life.

Norumbega Farm

Where I live is as important as what I do. When my wife and I were first married, we knew that we both wanted to settle in Maine and raise our family in a setting that would foster in them the strong connection we both felt to Maine. We grew up in the suburbs of Portland but wanted to be out in the country for the next phase of our lives. We purchased one hundred and sixty acres of woods in New Gloucester and promptly erected a tipi beside one of the property’s brooks. We lived in Boston at the time and would come to New Gloucester for weekends and the occasional week as we both continued to finish up our educations. In 1979, we moved back to Maine, took a course in home building at the Shelter Institute and shortly thereafter, began to build our home on the land we we had dubbed Norumbega.

A year later, we moved in to our far from finished home and began to explore what it meant to live out in the country in a town we were just beginning to get to know. In the years that followed, our lives began to take on a richness that left us both wondering what we had done to deserve so many blessings. Our son was born in 1985 and his sister followed in 1988. I took on a new career as a teacher when I turned forty and in the years since, my life has continued to evolve and morph into the multifaceted existence that keeps me so busy today.

dsc_0039Through all of this, Norumbega (a Penobscot word that once referred to all of the northeastern part of what is now the United States), has nurtured my soul. As I a child I spent countless hours wandering the woods and shoreline of my hometown of Cape Elizabeth. I could not have expressed it at the time, but intuitively I knew that where I was happiest was outside. Years later, while perusing my studies of Native American culture and spirituality, I allied myself with a Lakota Medicine women named Night Walker, and took on the adopted Native name of Woods Walker, to reflect that part of me that had always been such a vital part of who I was and am.

As I launch this new way of sharing my life with the world, I have a strong desire to express the joy and amazement that each new day brings me. I begin each day in prayer with the recitation of a personal creed. It touches on the aspects of my life that are so important to me. One of these deeply held feelings is gratitude. I feel so blessed to find myself in what some would call the “Sunset Years” of my life, vital and engaged in pursuits that touch not only my life but the lives of others. It is my intention through these posts to share the joy of my journey with all who care to join me.

138 replies on “My Life as a Rural Farmer, Horseman, Father and Businessman”

Michael, I love it, a blog to keep your musings available for the ages.
Reading this post reminded me of the great time we had at your home. Spending time walking the land, paralleling the brook + meeting your cairns, watching the pigs and taking a ride to work at Healing Through Horses… it is indeed a blessed life.
Thanks for sharing it!

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