The Mill House Speaks is a remarkable story about the journey of
returning to my father’s ancestral homeland in the Basque Country in the
summer of 2015 with my children, following the passing of my beloved
mentor, cultural anthropologist
Ph.D. In honoring the promise I made to her to do a project on
Basque folklore, I honestly, candidly, and courageously share this
journey. In this research trip to my father’s homeland in the Basque
Country, I discovered that the “project” is much more than a collection
of literature on ancient Basque folklore, but an ancestral journey of
living folklore, tied to my father’s sacred mill house.
House Speaks integrates our daily synchronistic experiences on this
summer research trip to the Basque Country in France. The Mill House
Speaks describes in detail the life dreams of rebuilding Papa’s mill
house and creating a project on Basque folklore with my mentor. Through
daily observations, experiences, and storytelling in the village of my
father, I reflect on the road that brought me here. Supported by
literature on ancient Basque folklore and ethnographic research, I
discover that all parts of the journey, the present and past, are united
as one, just like the ancient etxe.
The seven pathways are the
integrated aspects of this journey, reflecting the parts of the ancient
Basque world and belief system. The seven pathways are a synthesis of
this ancient Basque world, all connected to the major areas of life,
including life lessons from nature and perennial wisdoms, daily life
actions (sun), inner qualities/character attributes (moon), the cycles
of the seasons, and everyday tools for building one’s life dream.
In its entirety, The Mill House Speaks is a guided journey of living
folklore, both memoir and storytelling, for my children and future
generations, to pass on the enduring wisdoms of the human spirit.