It’s early January 2019 as I write this. Just to be clear, I am not on a sunny beach under a palm tree, I’m in a place where sweaters and hats and gloves and umbrellas are more the norm this time of year. I’m taking my vitamin D by mouth.
I’m relieved that Xmas and the New Year are over. A few days ago I posted a rather raw musing on social media on how I wasn’t feeling perhaps as upbeat and sparkly and hopeful as so many of my contemporaries seemed to be at the end of 2018, judging from their posts online. I was feeling so low that seeing all that joy was actively making me feel worse (and that’s not a version of me I recognise) It’s not my habit to wallow but we all have days that are bluer than others and sometimes I think there’s value in reflecting on what’s real, especially in the edited world online, where we spend so much time these days.
I heard from several people, both publicly and privately, that they too were having a hard time of it over the Xmas and New Year. A combination of exhaustion after a busy season, feelings of obligation that maybe didn’t bring them too much joy, depression - perhaps a variation of the winter blues (when it gets really bad I tend to think of it more as the Mean Reds, a friend calls it the Black Dog but I can’t bring myself to think of dogs as anything but the very embodiment of joy. I digress.) The point is, I wasn’t alone in feeling really down and a bit hopeless as the year wound to a close and I wasn’t anywhere close to where I wanted to be in any aspect of my life.
So I thought, what if there was a place I could help create that you could go to for solace and to recharge at the end of the year? What if there was lots of good food you didn’t have to think about (unless feeding people is a particular joy you’d like to indulge), perhaps some yoga on offer, live music, a class or two, relaxed chats around the fire and above all, space to just be whatever you need at the end of the year? Ideally it would be quiet, warm, next to the ocean.. I began to think about Chacala, on the west coast of Mexico, a lovely little community on a nearly idyllic half moon beach. Perhaps that would be the place for this retreat over maybe ten days at the end of 2019 and the start of 2020.
Immediately I started to feel better and more hopeful. I get this little joyful tug in the centre of my breastbone when I’m headed in the right direction and even thinking of this - of creating a space to help people come together in a small community and just feel better - seems to me a beautiful thing. I’m not sure how to get there exactly but I reached out immediately to two friends I know would make excellent partners in creating an experience like that.
This is, essentially, what I want for my farm, when it one day becomes a reality; a place of retreat and calm. A place to recharge, eat well, deeply relax, learn new skills, and celebrate life.
I don’t know yet how to get there, either, but that’s where I’m headed. That’s where the little tug in my breastbone says to go.
Image credit: The Beach at Chacala, on the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Image by wandering wilbury