According to the tide
The most beautiful things come out of chaos. This is what the tumultuous 2020 has brought to my attention.
I live in a wonderful place surrounded by nature. By day, filled with the night comes and the silence as deep as the sky is dark. What wonderful lessons I get every day in New Zealand where nature sets the tone!
During the first lockdown, we lived in a beautiful temporary rental apartment with a hard departure date that thanks to the lockdown was extended to gift us another month of paradise!
Other than while on vacation I had never lived on a beach before. It was an incredible adventure: hypnotizing, upsetting and sometimes violent. Yes, the force of the wind and the rise of the waves slapping upon on the low wall of the house could be destabilizing. Other times our home was serene and conducive to deep meditation. The perpetual movement of life takes all its beauty, its strength and is indomitable. What magnificent power! Here, the elements bring us every day to this humility and resilience.
It took me time to adapt. Sometimes my adaptation was slowed or interrupted because of too much wind, or rain, or simply because due to the lack of insulation in our house from the outside weather.
Or maybe because, I am a human being who has lost her ability to adapt to nature due to the lack of contact with it from years of living in big cities, fool of illusion of mastery. All of this taught me how to open up to the unknown, to trust life on its terms and learn from this new rhythm and value.
Here in New Zealand, the restrictions were not as oppressive as in other countries and we were encouraged to step out and walk in nature, to take fresh air, to remain calm and kind to each other. It was the end of the summer and we had very beautiful days and evenings to enjoy incredible sunsets.
This encouraged a beautiful sense of solidarity in the community around us! This community helped us create a daily routine that brought us great happiness! We would meet at the beach with our neighbors - each with a yoga mat. Every day we would practice together, setting the schedule according to the tide. What could be more wonderful? It was an honour to lead this very special class - a mix of Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga that I have been practicing for years. I adapted the challenge to the experience level and proficiency of the participants bringing something new every day to tease both the body and mind.
These daily sessions at the beach gave a privileged moment of sharing, pleasure, consistency, progress, laughter, connection .... everything that the magic and beauty of The Encounter could establish.
At the beginning of each session, I would thank all the teachers I have met in my life from Belgium to Thailand, Bali, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, all of whom are part of this experience without knowing. For this, I am so very GRATEFUL!
We would start the physical practice by shaking off our residual stagnant energy, and then progress into tai chi inspired flow designed to uplift and bring in some light.
As the winter made outdoor practise less appealing, we shifted our sessions with the group to the warmer interior of the Point Chev Sailing club.
We have all returned to our normal lives now. It has become complicated to find each other every day, we meet three times a week no longer at the whim of the weather and the tides thanks to the generosity of a neighbor with a recently redeveloped back yard in the shadow of the Pohutukawas just above the beach. We enjoyed this amazing place from January through to the turn into 2021’s winter. A smaller group of participants now, we enjoy the hospitality of another wonderful neighbor’s simple waterside Bach for our practice. We often follow it with a Chai Tea and a Ginger and honey tea made with love by Mary or a coffee with friends at one of our local cafes.