A couple of weeks ago we really slowed down from our already pretty slow lifestyle. We went to visit our good friends Anna and Lukas in their family holiday home in Alsace – a green and hilly French region close to the German border.
This house is a real hidden gem. Nestled in the midst of a thick forest, it is only accessible via a narrow and bumpy dirt track, on which our Ford Transit nearly bottomed out. The building is off the grid. It is powered by batteries and a generator, with a boiler heating up the water, but has no central heating or electricity. Which meant fires every night for warmth and small battery powered lights to get around at night.
There was no phone reception to speak of, though we had a landline phone and an internet connection which could be switched on from time to time (and turned out to be even good enough to re-watch a few episodes of Sherlock Holmes in the evening). So we weren’t completely cut off. But it still felt like a different world. A quiet, pensive one. And as the week went on, there seemed to be less and less desire to connect with the world outside our little bubble.
We re-discovered the joy of just sitting, taking our time and enjoying the sunshine during this week. I thought we had already achieved this through our travels, but now I realise our minds were always busy with something, our bodies always rearing to go and do stuff. Being at this place made us put away our phones unless we absolutely needed them and allowed us to take our time.
We took time to stretch in the mornings and to explore some new yoga moves, which has absolutely turned around my yoga practice, making it seem exciting and new again. We practiced handstands in the sun and chatted about everything and nothing for hours in the mornings. (The handstands are still waaaay off, but it’s a start, and something I’ve wanted and failed to start working on for two years).
We did some climbing too, of course, but actually not very much. But somehow this was also OK – partly because I came down with a cold halfway through the week and was forced to take it super easy, and partly because the climbing was actually quite scary. It was just a really easy and joyful place to be.
So this is a little thanks to Anna and Lukas for inviting us over and helping us recharge our batteries. It has been a bit of a crazy year this year, and it was so nice to properly relax!