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A Season of Change for All

Greetings from sunny (at least for now) southern Mississippi!

While the winter solstice officially brought on the start of winter, it’s feeling a bit more spring like today. And even though the official start of spring is still yet to arrive, our rebirth sure has.

As many of you know, Sweetwater Studios has been home to my parents and family of artists for over 40 years. And while we have seen a few rebirths since the beginning, this is by far our biggest.

I spent some time reflecting this winter solstice about the cycle of death and rebirth. Death has certainly been an unavoidable theme of the year, and one that has recently touched almost every human on the planet. If it has directly affected you and your family, we send you love, light, and comfort.

With death, however, comes the beautiful opportunity for rebirth. The winter solstice of December 21st reminded me of this yet again. We celebrate the reversal of the sun’s gradual decrease in the sky and welcome its rebirth as the daylight hours officially become longer (hallelujah).

If you were to visit us these days, death may be the first word that comes to mind. Bulldozers and backhoes have crisscrossed our property for months as we work to repair our small lake and island. These areas haven’t received much love since our last massive destructive period of Hurricane Katrina over 15 years ago.

The lake that once looked like a grown over secret garden is now opened and exposed (to repair leaking areas). Some of the rolling green grassy areas have now been flattened for regulation size croquet court building (watch that process here!), and parts of our property that we never really visited have now been cleaned out to become some of our favorite spots for morning walks! The death of the past opens the door for the rebirth of our future.

As 2021 approaches, many of us take time to reflect on how we will be renewed with the new year. New Year’s resolutions, new hobbies or commitments, or this year even the “new normal” are all swirling around as we gladly welcome the end of 2020.

And while 2020 has been a tremendously difficult year for many, I can say deep in my heart that it has brought opportunities I never imagined receiving.

If you’ve ever met me personally, you most likely know that opening a small eco-hotel has been a dream of mine since high school. One that took me to far off places to study and work with remote jungle lodges and big mega-resorts. This time last year, I was deep in my search for property somewhere constantly warm and tropical.

But, as it did for many, Covid-19 brought that search to a screeching halt. With a handful of canceled plane tickets, all I could really do was enjoy the present moment, and the joy of being home here in Mississippi.

I would sit on our back porch and try to imagine my tropical beach resort shifting into a more “woodsy southern” experience. Trading coconut water for sweet tea and sunsets over the ocean for sunsets through the pines. The latter of which has now become one of my favorites.

It was a death of a dream to some extent, but the rebirth of being able to share my magical home with the world has proven to be worth it.

While we are still many months away from officially welcoming guests for overnight stays, we have created a few small opportunities to share this special place with all who wish to experience it. And as more present themselves, they will be shared via e-mail and social media with you all. (Be sure to give us a follow here and here to stay up to date!)

New Year’s Eve and Day have typically filled this space with mega bonfires and potlucks galore, yet this is no typical year. However since we are greatly missing the food and fellowship of years past, we do ask you to respond here. Share with us some of your greatest memories of this special place.

Or if you’ve never been, share with us what you look forward to experiencing as we build a space for all to gather, create, and be merry.

Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year to you all. We are so excited to welcome you to The Lodge at Sweetwater Studios when the time is right.

With Love & Wellbeing,

Airon & The Lodge at Sweetwater Studios

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