Richard A. Boulter

November 9, 1949 – October 23, 2016

In 2006 I met Richard Boulter and my life was forever changed.  Richard was a local landscaper, permaculturist, theologian and shaman born and raised in Rockport, MA.  His family had long been care-takers and shareholders of Steele Derrick Quarry, a sacred piece of land and water, and Richard had the deepest connections to the landscape, lore, nature and history of my home-island I had ever encountered.  We became fast friends and I was strongly called to become his student.  I was repeatedly amazed by the grace with which he handled various life transitions while holding a strong dedication to his work, family and community. As his student, I was incredibly blessed to actually live in community with him for almost three years.  During this time he became like family.  As a spiritual father that I affectionately referred to as “Papa Bear”, he taught me daily how to love more deeply than I ever thought possible, changing the way I looked at life, love, family, community, spirituality, divinity, integrity and service.  In 2010, he left our home to travel to South America as he did every year in the winter.  That winter, however, instead of returning rejuvenated, he returned near dead and paralyzed from a freak spinal cord injury.  It took an international med-flight, several emergency surgeries, and three years of rehabilitation and assisted living to get to the point where he could live on his own with the round-the-clock help of dedicated personal care assistants. Despite living with quadriplegia, pain, and immobility, Richard was still strong of heart and spirit.  I am so very grateful to him for helping me be the healer I am today.  He still teaches me every day.  He was surrounded by friends, family, students and rich song and ceremony in his last hours before and shortly after his passing. Rest well Papa Bear.