Light at the End of the Occupancy Tunnel
A year has passed since I last logged on to write about the Jubilee adventure. I reflect over a hot tea, looking out at the snow peppering my window, at how much has changed in the last 14 months.
The world tipped sideways. A sweet boy was brought forth by my body. My partner spent 8 months away from our family on a Work-Away project. The roof of the Jubilee gave me more grey hairs. My business plan sidled away from its original form, estranging me from my thesis with this project, before morphing into something bigger, something better.
I feel a sense of Phoenix Rising, emerging from the ashes of Before; stronger, savvier.
When I first jumped into this dream, I was, for the most part, flying solo. My partner was busy with his own business, working hard to keep us afloat while I launched into the unknowns of Restorations. My mother was a silent investor, buffering me from tipping over the edge when it seemed I truly might, but still distant from the heart of this thing.
In the first year of my trials, I encountered crones bent on disbanding me from my success, and I was nearly brought to my knees by their treachery. But, with help from my family, we banished them.
I then found myself rallied by women who, for lack of a better visual aid, were brought to me on feathered wings. To be friends with hard working women, problem solvers, women willing to work for less than their worth, willing to take on the cold of the Jubilee's old bones... I have been humbled by their tenacity and their love.
Megan Carter, of AC Ironworks, brought to the Jubilee skills and clue-work that the building had long craved. She tackled tasks that I was not physically able to do with my protruding belly, tasks such as sidling under the floors above the Holding Tank, dismantling unsafe beams, and replacing them with structural supports that were up to Code.
She crafted iron railings to adorn the front steps, ferns unfurling, to further honour the magic of the earth for which I named this space.
She has helped me to harness and hone my own building skills, and gently took the lead when I needed to defer to another's wisdom. In Megan, I feel I have found kin.
Corey Evans, of Rideau Roots Landscaping, brought another aspect to the Jubilee. She brought me closer to the community, as I am, effectively, an outsider still. She has made key introductions, and brings such light to the space. When she arrives, we are buoyed by her sweetness, and she helped endlessly with the physically demanding tasks that became less and less accessible during my pregnancy. Her understanding of the Spiritual Journey, of dancing with the darkness and the light within ourselves, helped to keep me on point with actuating my vision of the Jubilee, and to remind me that Spiritual Growth is a lifelong endeavour.
I have secured a wonderful tenant for Unit B (the storefront beside mine).
Amy Grey, owner and founder of The Jubilee Bakeshop is bringing a touch of sweetness to the block. A woman of many passions, Amy is full on Spirit. She tackles her part of the project with fearlessness and generosity, two traits necessary when working with the Old Dame that is the Jubilee. She makes me feel that I am part of a team, and is quick to be on my side when we are faced with hoops laid out by the Township. I hope to have a long relationship with her, and would like all my sugar highs to come from her ovens.
My mother went from being a silent investor to a fully fledged Business Partner. She has given me full and complete control of the project, while never ceasing to cheer me on, and lend both emotional and financial support. Where would I be, where would any of us be, without the patience and faith of our mothers?
So, what now? We are working on the final stages of renovations before we will be granted Occupancy. Of course, a building such as this will never be "finished"; the brick repairs and roof will need maintenance and attention in the years to come. But for now, we finish drywall to beautify the space and, hopefully, begin to turn a small profit on what has otherwise been a costly dream.
Do I hope to make a fortune? No. But I do hope to bring wellness to my community. To mend the rift that was driven into small towns by Big Box Stores. The MegaCorps have too long held tyranny over the job market, a boot firmly planted on local businesses.
Maybe, holistic health reaches further than the Mind-Body-Spirit connection.
Maybe we have to reach right out into the town that is home to us, to bring wellness to the four corners of our world, to bring economic integrity to the downtown core.
Maybe taking steps in that direction, of local living, of being close to our communities, of developing green & unique spaces, will bring a deeper understanding of communal health to each of us.
Because this project has taught me that I am a small part of a much larger vision for wellness in Delta. And while my role remains that of entrepreneur, investor, dreamer; I also am beginning to understand the people and place that holds me. And I realize that knowledge is what I needed to have a hope to bring Wellness.