Reconnection Nurture Community Healing
Rediscovery Self-Reliance Responsibility Authenticity
Guidance Support Growth Development Harvest
It was only on my second visit to Cae Non that I realised that as I walked around the land, I had a huge grin across my face, for no apparent reason, except that simply, the land makes me happy. Driving home in the car one evening, after spending an exhausting day working on the field, I also realised that despite my tiredness, my heart was literally singing! And this is what I want to invite everyone else to experience too. To allow the peace and quiet of the place to seep into one’s very fibre, and to feel the joy and exhilaration that this can bring.
When we first found Cae Non, the gate was chained and padlocked, weeds grew deep across it and gorse had completely enveloped one end. The opening of the gate was a joyous occasion and highly symbolic of the freedom to come and go that I envisage. I, along with the rest of my family, naturally thought that we would be getting another lock for the gate. But as I was trying to choose a suitable replacement at the local hardware shop in town, I suddenly realised that this was definitely not what I wanted for Cae Non. Although the land is a special place, somewhat between worlds and times, the last thing that I want to do with it is to lock it away! I want it to be available to anyone and everyone, whenever they wish to come. Even when we aren’t there, the gate can be untied and people are welcome to stroll around and enjoy what they find there.
I envisage Cae Non as a haven where a person can temporarily leave the ordinary world behind and go into retreat, to find oneself, to reconnect with one’s own body, emotions and spirit. A chance to metaphorically catch one’s breath.
A place where one has the chance to relax and let go, to be still and listen and wait… to feel with one’s eyes and see with one’s heart. To truly find oneself and get to know oneself as fully as possible.
At the same time we all need to reconnect to the land, to the planet; to this earth from which our bodies are made, which sustains and nourishes us, which is our home and our sacred arena for living and experiencing that life to it’s fullest, regardless of how painful, beautiful, difficult, privileged, cruel or heart warming it may be.
My vision is for people to come onto the land and discover for themselves what is there:- explore the wilderness, the many arbours, seats, bowers, groves, pools and hidden places; loose themselves in the labyrinth; venture across onto the island to simply cut oneself off altogether; wander through the swathes of wild flowers under the wide open sky.
A walk around the land may take you anything from an hour to a whole day; a literal and metaphorical journey of both literal and metaphorical discovery rooted deep within one’s own interaction with what is. It is the land which will guide your feet and your thoughts. It is the land that, ultimately, will lead you to yourself and a more joyful future.
With this in mind, I intend to provide three things for visitors.
The opportunity to reconnect to your true self, and to reconnect to the land. So much physical, emotional and mental illness is caused by disconnection.
The chance to rekindle your relationship with the four elements which sustain our physical life and to expand your knowledge and appreciation of them.
To have understanding and loving support and guidance while you achieve these marvellous goals, if you wish or need it.
FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE OF THE ELEMENTS:
The opportunity to rediscover what it is like to live simply and with first hand experience of the elements that support us. To feel the earth beneath your feet; to be aware of the slippery mud; to harvest fresh herbs and fruit straight from the land which has grown them; to walk it, lie on it, sit on it, smell it.
To discover what it is like to draw your own water from a living stream; to wash in icy water out in the sunshine and fresh air; to value every drop of it because it is hard work collecting and carrying it. To take joy in the various pools and channels; to paddle and splash. To feel the rain on your skin, this life-giving water without which none of us could survive. To turn your faces up to the sky and laugh with glee to be soaked with fresh precious water!
To light one’s own fire, and really appreciate the warmth from a few burning logs. To see your food cook on those logs before your eyes. To watch your wet clothes steaming and drying above them. To smell the smoke and feel it sting your eyes. To know what fire really is, a marvellous friend but a mighty and powerful force.
The chance to smell the air and the scent of a field filled with wild flowers. To feel the sun on your skin, the caress of a warm summer breeze, the icy blast of a freezing wind. But to feel and know that you are alive,and to be glad!
REDISCOVERY AND RECONNECTION TO YOURSELF:
In our 21st Century lives, we are all busily occupied with a hundred and one activities and concerns each and every day. We have forgotten that we also need time and space and nurturing. We also need to be able to listen to the inner workings of our heart and soul, our higher spirit, and the often ignored cries for help from a seriously depleted and overloaded physical system.
As children, many of us had the time to stop in wonder and observe a bustling anthill, gaze at a sunset, watch the wind rippling through a field of barley, or notice the magical rainbow colours swirling across puddles where car fuel had been spilled. When we were little, we thoroughly enjoyed our food; not expensive and exotic restaurant fare but tasty gravy or eggy soldiers, sticky puddings and a well savoured boiled sweet. We were acutely aware of how we felt; hot, cold, tired; comfortable in our warm cosy beds or snuggled on mum’s lap, or hot and feverish in a tumbled bed of sleeplessness.
Now we are adults, we do not have time to notice or listen to ourselves until the body demands attention by producing symptoms of pain or sickness, and then instead of taking pity on it, we berate it, resent it for getting ill and stuff it full of chemicals so that we can carry on abusing it as much as before.
Our spiritual lives fare no better. As we grow into adolescents there a thousands of exciting and enticing distractions to fill our days; we become involved with higher education and careers; we fall in love and set up homes with partners, children, pets and dozens of obligations that give us little peace.
Not that there is anything at all wrong in this. Experiencing a rich, varied and full life is what we are ultimately here to do. But it is when it gets out of hand and unbalanced that the problems begin. Sometimes people feel like their life is running them rather than the other way about.
We all need time to get to know ourself again. To stop and really observe how we are feeling and what it means to us. Time to really look at oneself; to recognise and learn to understand oneself again. Time to travel deep within oneself and reconnect to that divine spark within you that we all carry; to reconnect with your very essence, your soul, and discover why you are here doing all these things, and perhaps more importantly, what you possibly should or could be doing instead?
Time at Cae Non will allow you to leave the everyday world behind with all its busyness and distractions. It will give you the chance to pause, catch your breath and consider…. yourself, your life, your successes and failures, your directions and goals, your inner self and your place within your self and the community at large. In peace and tranquillity, in a simple and harmonious lifestyle, with good nourishing home-cooked food and gentle support and company, you will have the chance
To relearn about yourself, to reconnect to yourself and everything around you…. to truly be alive which will enable you to live your precious and very special life to the absolute fullest.
GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT:
To enable us to give you this unique and marvellous opportunity, we intend holding various gatherings, retreats and workshops.
Some retreats will be very quiet and simple affairs where you simply spend time out on the land, allowing the natural world to speak to you and answer your questions; assisting you to peel back the layers of yourself to discover the deeply hidden you.
Other retreats might be more structured with focus on psychic cleansing and protection, guided meditations, journeying, channelling information, relaxing therapies using essential oils and massage, role play and craft activities.
Some events will be devoted to specific aspects of self learning and healing such as grieving and letting go, soul retrieval, and actively de-stressing your life.
There will also be opportunities to come and work on the land… to be part of it’s creation… planting trees, building paths, erecting raised beds, clearing brushwood from the stream banks just for starters. Your reward will be wholesome food and good company, and the satisfaction and healing that always occur naturally when physically working over the earth.
Some gatherings might involve honouring the change in the seasons and a particular time of year, with dancing, singing and camp fires.
There will also be an opportunity to join one of the Earthwalking programmes which begin every October…. for more information, click here.
All this can be yours at just the click of a button.
Come and join us soon.
I promise you that you won’t regret it!