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The Feeling of Shelter

7/13/2011 12:33:11 PM

Tags: shelter, cottages, homes, Lloyd Kahn

English Cottage 

In the '70s, Lesley and I went to England, where she was born. I had friends, 3 brothers from Southern California, who had rented an old brick house in Mapledurham, a small village along the Thames, near Redding. One night my friend Michael took us over to a visit a small family in a nearby house. It was a cold night.

It turned out to be a thatched cottage, not your picture-perfect variety (like this one here), but still something authentic. The doorway was low — a 6-footer would have to duck to get in. Inside, there was a fire burning in the fireplace, which was just part of the floor, casting orange shadows on the walls. The ceiling was really low, with whitewashed horizontal beams holding up the loft above.

I felt a hit, as if I'd stepped back into a past life. The warmth, the coziness, the feeling of protection — the same qualities that I believe our ancestors created and treasured — it felt familiar. (My mom's family is from Wales.)

I'll have feelings once in a while in different homes. When everything feels right, everything is working in unison: what you see, what you smell, what you touch, what you feel…

And if you'll pardon the whoo-whoo factor here, I think that we have memories in our genes, and that once in a while — via meditation, or enhanced consciousness, or just the right mood — we tap into these cellular memories. We get a feeling that doesn't come from conscious memories. Hey, I've been here before…

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Jim Phelps
9/3/2011 5:45:57 PM
Great post Mr. Kahn. I have spent the better half of my career creating fairytale cottages and themed comunities. Most of the time unfortunatley they never get off the ground simply due to what we call "bottom liners". Most developers cannot see the vision. Please feel free to check out our you tube video on one completed community called Courance. got to you tube and type in Courance by Leo Dowell. also Jim Phelps Collection

Jim Phelps
9/3/2011 5:36:05 PM

Steven Lovett
7/26/2011 9:59:37 AM
Great post. I do believe that you mean "Reading" not "Redding"

kurt dreas
7/22/2011 11:49:17 PM
I know what that feeling is. Once, about ten years ago, I lived in a log cabin, in the woods - on the side of a mountain. As soon as I walked in, I noticed that it was very quiet, and gave me the most secure feeling I've ever had. It was as if I were in a different world. Warm, quiet, secure, special smell, and a feeling of being mentally, physically, and spiritually secure. That was in the summer. When winter arrived, the wood burning stove gave aother great sensation. The smell and warmth, You can't invision that unless you were there. UNFORGETABLE. Glad to be alive to experience it.

7/22/2011 12:24:25 PM
This is beautiful, and right on. When I walked into my house in 1965, I felt all that and still do. Thanks for these thoughts.

7/13/2011 6:37:36 PM
how beautiful. i to believe in gene memories, although, mine always comes when i am amerced within mother nature and man and its content is no where to be found, as if, i was once an animals. I hope one day that my house can bring me the comfort that i find in the wilderness, a real home, a place to belong. Maybe in my next life.

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