How Sunshine Pottery Studio Came To Life

Posted by Mira Hatland on Jan 27, 2015
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[After our Laddership Circle that just finished, I am brimming with love -- for all your collective hearts.  Below is my story, that I briefly shared today.]

If anyone asked me, “Would you like a fire to burn through your land and cancer to come knocking at your door in the month after?” Of course I would say, “Are you crazy?” But, as it turns out that is exactly what happened to me. And while I might never have asked for it, I find that I am feeling grateful these days.

It is hard to explain, but when a friend asked me to write about this gratitude I decided to give it a try. I love my life, I give everything I have to this beautiful existence. I live totally and try not to step on people’s toes. I get beautiful visions of serving kids in a clay camp, of playing with my daughter on horses in the mountains and building amazing buildings and forms with my beloved husband out of wood and clay in the mountains.

But, I have this one body and I have worked hard and I never knew how to take of me very well. Before I was a mom, I owned Simply Organized and loved organizing people’s lives, from cars to mansions to offices to estates. I never stopped to eat and ran on sugar and caffeine. I was the Boulder Entrepreneur making lots of money and loving people. I also belonged to a spiritual community and between munching on organic chocolate bars, a latte and or a scone, I would spend all of my evenings cleaning meditation rooms, organizing retreats and not sleeping much.

Post child, I stopped working, started to cook and eat better, take care of my baby and watch my husband work like crazy! I never saw him until the night when I was exhausted and so was he.

When we bought our land in the mountains, it was our dream come true. Get out of downtown, build the pottery studio, have horses, chickens…you name it, we were going to do it. We found the most amazing mountain school, Gold Hill, for our daughter to attend and things were sweet for a while. We were building our dream and most importantly we were happy. Even so, we felt there were changes that needed to be made in our lives.

My beloved husband was always working and then coming home and working some more. Times to just hang out and doing nothing were few and far between.

Privately I would pray, in the shower or on the mountain, thank you Divine, for all of these gifts, for our health, for our land, for our love. But I also felt like we were on this crazy wheel that was grinding us down and never seemed to stop. The wheel of so much work, so tired all the time and not very much space to just relax and enjoy life. I said, “Please Divine, stop the wheel.”

I created our wonderful summer clay camps and these amazing kids would show up every day to play in the sun and in the water and in the clay. I was in love and having a blast.
Once in a while Stephen (my husband) would come and throw pots for the kids and it was the highlight of the week and I would think, when are we going to do this together again? We had pottery studios before together and our happiest times were when we worked together and were creative. When will it be Sunshine Pottery Studio with the Hatlands not just Mira?

I also noticed that I was really tired and had to drag myself to keep up with those kids, even with a helper. At four O’clock, I would sit in our swings and sleep so that my bones could rest.

Through it all, I continued to pray, “Please, Divine, stop the wheel.”

At the end of the summer, we celebrated our last camp and Labor Day was coming. We thought, let’s go away to a hot springs, no let’s stay here and do nothing. We had two days of doing nothing. We swung on the swings, we rode horses, we slept and the three of us were slowing down…and then the fire came.

We evacuated with my daughter, a truck full of tools, a mother mastiff and her nine puppies, a cat and later my husband got a ride up the mountain and hiked our horses down Sunshine Canyon out of the smoke.

Of course things were chaotic, finding socks for my daughter, food for the animals, places for everything but Boulder came through. For the first time I experienced how powerful our community is, and when it had to take care of its own, it did in flying colors.

We had toys for our daughter, clothing for all of us, places to live, meals to eat every day, first aid, shoes, even entertainment. We cried every day with gratitude for our community and gratitude for the safety of our family and friends.

We were given a house to relocate to until we handled our land. Our house was still standing, everything else was gone.

I remember sitting up in the soot, looking at our mangled pottery studio roof and burnt trees and I thought “Wow, we’re starting over again with a clean slate”, and then I remembered my prayer…
“Please Divine, stop the wheel.”

Stephen and I were going right into our old busy mind set. When and how are we going to rebuild, and let’s do this and let’s do that…and then we stopped and took a breath and thought, “We’re off the wheel, let’s see what happens now.”

We cleaned the house with crews of friends and I noticed a large growth on my neck. We figured it was my lymph system not being able to handle all of the smoke and toxins and I went into action to clear my lymph system organically. But, to no avail and on November 3rd, I was told I had lymphoma.

"Please Divine, stop the wheel."

I have stopped the wheel, or the wheel has stopped me. My family is grateful that I am alive. My family is grateful for all that has happened. We are getting to start over again in a healthier way. My Lymphoma diagnosis is a good one. As my doc would say, "If you are going to be told you have cancer, this is the most curable of them all." I thank the Divine for giving me a chance to live, to be able to start over with infinitely more energy, clarity and gratitude.
I thank myself for praying to get off the wheel and spend more quality time with my body, with my husband, and with my daughter. We are looking at everything. We are re-evaluating it all. What do we really want in our lives? How can we slow down, smell the roses and appreciate each moment in this precious life? The Fire burnt through our land and made us take a breath.

In March we will return to our mountain home. I will continue to heal up there in our cabin. Sunshine Pottery Studio will be our next adventure and, who knows, maybe this spring we’ll continue the amazing clay camps for the children.

I think only when the wheel has slowed down enough, will life show us the next step of our beautiful mountain oasis.   

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