I’ve just returned from the first annual Sacred Harvest event at Sky Meadow, an idyllic 115-acre spiritual retreat in the mountainous Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The Harvest was a wonderful three days of wholesome work, exploration and soul-talk, and provided me with the opportunity to fulfil my long-term ambition of creating and installing a wind phone.
The original “telephone of the wind” (風の電話, Kaze no Denwa) was created in 2010 by Itaru Sasaki, a Japanese garden designer who was bereft after the loss of his beloved cousin. Mr. Sasaki was inspired to install an antique telephone booth in his garden, which overlooked the coastal town of Otsuchi. When he was missing his cousin he’d go out to the booth, dial his old number and simply talk to him.
Mr. Sasaki opened his garden and telephone to the public after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11th, 2011, which resulted in the deaths of about 1/10th of Otsuchi’s population among the estimated 18,500 people who lost their lives on that day. Gradually, in the aftermath, word spread about Mr. Sasaki’s wind phone, first within Japan and then internationally, and now there exists a loose network of creators inspired by his original vision.
Having signed up for the Sacred Harvest, I realized that Sky Meadow would be the perfect location for a wind phone, so I purchased a black 1957-vintage General Electric rotary phone, cleaned it up and carried it with me to Vermont.
The Sky Meadow wind phone was installed at around midnight on the last day of the August 2023 Sacred Harvest. It’s located in the Cave – a secluded subterranean meditation alcove in one of the higher parts of the property.
It was a privilege to be able to join in the co-creation of this new, international ritual for working through grief. Seek here if you’re inspired to create a wind phone of your own.