On the hilltop corner of 800 19th Street, in the historic Sherman Hill neighborhood ~ up the street from where Willowsong Midwifery Care has been since 2003 ~ there sits a two-story masonry building that has sat empty for years. Chaden Halfhill, of Silent Rivers Design+Build had a vision to bring the building to life through a sustainable renovation aimed to “decrease our carbon footprint, increase energy efficiency and promote better use of materials”.
The site has a green roof…
And a rain wall and rain garden to effectively manage stormwater runoff, as well as geothermal heating and cooling, natural ventilation and solar panels…
“This project will not only help to beautify a historic piece of our community, but it is our hope that we will inspire others to follow suit,” said Chaden. “There are over 10,000 buildings around Iowa alone that have a structure similar to that of our pilot project.
We could drastically change our environment if we were to implement more sustainable practices when renovating those existing buildings”.
Now that sounds a little like the purpose, mission, vision & values of Willowsong.
This is theHeart of why Healing Passages, the entity that provides theSpace, chose Green & Main’s pilot project to be its future home. We know that when we CARE for one another, we must not disconnect from being human, from the cycles of LIFE, for we all are connected to one another and to our planet. The journey is not sterile. It is organic. The power to HEAL, comes from these connections and this knowing.
An opportunity for transformation for all who participate, an unfolding of a mother and baby’s journey beyond our control, a biological process designed to be SAFE for mother and child, where technology is only used when medically necessary, where the mother’s intuition is honored, where she and her newborn are seen as ONE and her soul’s connection to her baby is valued.
A physiological condition fraught with danger for mother and child, a process meant to be controlled and pushed, where all who participate feel nothing but FEAR expecting the worst to happen, where technology is seen as far superior than the body’s design and mother and baby are seen as TWO ~ their soul’s connection devalued.
Not only does the building and the land upon which it rests synergistically work with and remind us as human beings of our connection to all the cycles of life; so does the design and intent of the space reflect those connections.
The next blog post, by week’s end, will reflect upon how every aspect of the interior is designed for the women and families of Willowsong and what we, as women, do with each other ~ we hold space ~ guiding each other through all the passages of life. It is in this building’s design that theSpace, within which this hard work occurs, shall feel connected and organic as a gentle reminder to us all that this is where all healing begins.