This post follows on from Finding Enchantment.
Today is one of those gentler autumn days, seasonally breezy but with just the right amount of bluster. Not so much of a gale that it demands us to hurriedly down tools to retrieve buckets flying round the garden or, inside to hastily fasten angry doors and windows. Quite the contrary; this spirited zephyr means no mischief at all, she just wants to play. It’s a dry wind and oddly warm, gusty yet benevolent. Clothes dry quickly on the line, damp firewood in the log pile seasons and the house feels aired with all the windows and doors open.
As I peg out another load of washing, a stronger gust picks up and shakes the branches of the laurel tree like the handshake of an enthusiastic salesman. This causes the cow bells tied up in the branches and twigs to bounce about and when they do, a peal of various sounds rings out, some large, some small, their tiny vespers carried up, up and away on the wind.
I am captivated by the sound. A moment later the wind drops, there’s just a whisper of it in the trees and the sound of the crows cawing from the fence as they send back gossip to the creatures of the wood. It’s neither silent nor noisy. In fact it’s perfect for being able to hear myself think.
I remember being about five or six years old and one of my favourite things to do on windy days was to go out in to the garden and curl up in a ball on the grass. The pull that I felt to get out there in to the elements and embrace them was very strong. I’d cover my eyes, put my head to the ground and feel this extraordinary energy radiating around me. I felt part of something much, much bigger but I was too young to know what it was, even now at fifty seven, it is still hard to articulate.
Listening to the wind today, grateful to be safe in our sylvanian bubble, growing vegetables, cooking, making a garden, restoring the house, painting, drawing, writing . I’ve still not finished telling the story of what brought us here. Finding enchantment doesn’t happen overnight.
But clues to finding it can sometimes be found where we least expect them. When I ditched my ‘crutches’ I asked the Universe to help me. I did a lot of reading and two books especially gave me much comfort. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse and The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift. I knew that the further that I strayed from my true self and from nature, the more ’empty’ I felt. But it was watching Jeong Kwan on Chef’s Table on Netflix that really touched something within me. She is from South Korea, and she is a Buddhist monk. She’s also a phenomenal cook.
I find Jeong Kwan truly inspiring and though I could not live in a monastery, I have learnt much from just watching and listening to her. She talks about the food that she grows and prepares with such reverence, it is hard not to be in awe of such a character ‘I make food from these vegetables with a blissful mind and I eat the vegetables with joy’ everything about Jeong Kwan is blissful. And it is not just Jeong Kwan who has inspired me, there’s little Chandeena and her grandmother on their YouTube Channel ‘Village Life’. I found them one evening when I was looking for a new curry to make. All of these remarkable women have played a part in helping me finding my way to enchantment. I am still on that journey but having time to hear myself think has enabled me to slowly start to make sense of it all.