~ Hello, My name is LaynaJoy and I am the founder of Ravens Landing, once called Ravens Haven. I started this vision back in March 2010. The first time I set foot on this land my eyes were shocked at all the trash and dilapidated structures that were lying around. How could someone treat such a beautiful place like this?
The unique way in which the land rolled and the view into the valley surrounded by mountains made me feel as if the earth itself was embracing me. I took in a big breath of air, sighed and began the work.
I lived in a tent for about 6 months while building out the necessities, like a kitchen to cook in and an outhouse. Long hours, long days. Friends came to help and little by little we had built a small village with a music studio made from cob, a textile/art studio with lots of materials, a bottle wall cob sauna, a big communal kitchen, a tiny house that I lived in that overlooked the valley, a barn that my 3 goats never used (they preferred their original palate palace), a 10×10 deluxe and fancy chicken house, a crazy kitty tree house, a guest cabin, storage shacks, solar shed…etc.
On July 29, 2015 the Rocky Fire started. I and my friend were evacuated days later and left with what little could fit into a hatchback sedan and pickup truck. Less than one week later, on August 4, 2015, my home, everything I had ever owned in my life, all the structures built on the property, and animals unable to be caught before the evacuation were incinerated. When I was finally able to get back to my property, the air was still, all the Ravens were gone, the world was silent, it looked as if I was walking around in a black and white movie and I was the only thing in color.
Aluminum had melted into snakes that bled across the land, down the hillsides- decorating the ground in silver rivers. The chastity of my bus was bent and twisted and burnt inside and out. My tiny home was now a pile of ashes. My cozy bed - a tangled mess of metal coils. Both sickening and heart wrenching, carcasses of my beloved chickens and ducks were found all over the property- having tried to run for their lives but to no avail. And then there was the forest. A century old forest of majestic Oaks interwoven with red Manzanitas were left blackened and dead. I knelt to the ground and asked for clarity. What should I do? "Let it heal and return", was what I heard.
After some harsh months of reality and dealing with paperwork I had lost in the fire (titles, passport, SS card, birth certificate, etc.) and the overwhelming amount of clean up, which the city helped out with; I made a decision. I took a trip across the country with my feline companion, Mr. Tigre. Being able to visit some amazing and beautiful people was the medicine I needed to right myself and my life and put my broken pieces back together again. I kept saying to myself, "When I return to the land, if the pond is full of water from the winter rains then I will rebuild and bring Ravens Haven back from the ashes." And so there it was, I returned to a fresh new slate on March 22, 2016. Like myself, in a matter of months, having heard the call, the Ravens also returned.
Consequently, I renamed Ravens Haven to symbolize the lands rebirth to what it is called today, Ravens Landing. A name that symbolizes that I, and those called to this property, have landed and from destruction we will build anew.
Everything was fresh and vibrant, as if humans had never stepped foot on the property. The only thing left were the ruins of the sauna whose shambles resembled an old sacred temple. It was hard not to feel inspired all over again. My dog, Checo, was running around again in the fresh grass. Tigre was stalking through the tall grasses like a lynx. Ravens were calling from up high. It was home again, now all I had to do was build a cabin to sleep in.
Over the past couple years some amazing people have given their time, energy, sweat, and talents to help rebuild this space - honoring its mission and vision.
Without the help of dear friends and dear strangers, I would not have had the fuel to fulfill the vision of rebuilding.
To all those incredible people, creatures great and small and those yet to come, no matter how big or small you’ve helped, I dedicate this Vision to you!