by Halim Korzybski
The Wilczyska (pronounced vielchiska) estate in Poland was founded in the 15th Century. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times by foreign invasions and after World War II, the government at the time nationalized the farmland and the forest. The Manor House was converted into a school which was relocated some years later leaving the buildings empty allowing inevitable deterioration.
When our family got it back after six years of litigation, it needed complete renovation. My cousins were not interested in the property and I bought them out. I recognised its potential despite its condition. It was built on a gentle hill, surrounded by seven hectares of ancient park, overlooking two ponds completely overgrown in the midst of mature trees, bushes and weeds. Yet this created quite an intimate setting with fields and meadows next to a forest. I saw the possibility of this location being an ideal setting for a unique holistic therapy centre – an alternative approach to wellbeing and total health. Another advantage was its location. Just over an hour from Warsaw, but far enough away from city distractions.
Once I recognised the potential of Wilczyska, I made an inner commitment despite not having enough money at the time for its reconstruction. Yet I had faith and confidence that the money would come … the situation had been the same with my French retreat project in the Pyrenees in France. In both cases, I did not have enough money to meet the estimated cost, BUT, I had the conviction to go ahead with the project. I had a deep sense of faith and confidence, that if this was the right project for me to do, the money would come.
And the money came whenever it was needed. In the case of the project in the Pyrenees I was able to sell the house in the U.S. to pay for the farm and, later, sell a few lots I owned to finish the renovation with enough money to cover the costs. Similarly, with the reconstruction work on Wilczyska I was lucky to be able to sell my house outside Warsaw. Later I sold an apartment and a building lot for just enough money to cover the expenses to pay in the following stages: for the basic renovation of the manor house, the building and completion of the guest house, the rebuilding and cleaning of the ponds, clearing the park, and the rebuilding of the access road and the entry gate to the property. All the money came in time when I needed it during the six years it took to complete the project.
During this period, I felt protected and an inner support in everything connected to the project whether it related to the money flow, to everyday decisions, to the selection of materials or even choosing the right people and contractors to work on the site. The Wilczyska project is not yet finished. We will be looking for an operator, investor or manager who will complete interiors and furnish the Manor House compatible with their marketing needs. But the adjacent guest house, with eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms and its own kitchen for 20 persons, is ready to be used for smaller meetings, workshops or for guests.
My vision and hopes for the Wilczyska project is that it could bring those who experience it closer to nature and the feeling of the inner life, through its character, living environment and positive surroundings. La Source, my first project, in the Pyrenees has already been used for the last 16 years; rented for different events and seminars organised by spiritual groups or individuals. All the time I felt that those two projects were not mine, but I was given the responsibility to carry on the job, and luckily I was able, and often I was helped in the situations that were beyond my control… I recognise these gifts and I am very grateful to be an instrument to contribute and add to our life….
[Please refer to the Facebook page for photos of the reconstruction work over a few years.]