Hello! I’m Alice Elgie, writer, yoga teacher, and creator of the Slow Into The Seasons Community where I share thoughts along with nature journalling and mindfulness offerings to nourish and nurture our life's journey.
I stand watching the sun rise in the distance, a glowing globe of deep orange. A thousand—or more—golden sunflowers nod beneath this new dawn, and I am overcome with gratitude.
We are told about mindfulness, about appreciation for the moment, but it is sometimes difficult to put into practice in the shadow of all the difficulties we face in this world—both privately and in.the.world. But this morning, this solitary morning in SW France, I get it. I get how everything else can pale into insignificance, how nothing at all can fill my mind other than complete peace and love for the moment. My heart is bursting and, I think, this is how I want to live all of the time.
We spent the previous evening in the company of friends, friends made 15 years ago when we came to this area to volunteer. Back then we were a family—so new in so many ways—in our mid-thirties with a babe-in-arms, and hearts full of dreams. We had sold up and left behind life in the UK to go in search of a new way of living, only we had no idea what that new way of living looked like.
Thankfully we landed here, with people who had taken the leap before us, followed the pull themselves to some different path, a way of living that could make them appreciate this moment of life with deeper understanding. We turned hay by hand, chopped wood, rode horses, and sat around a giant table in the shadow of a grand fireplace and were inspired that there is always opportunity to live differently to that which we are conditioned into.
This morning, after 15 years more of lived experiences, of narrowboats, vans, yurts, different countries and friendships all rolling through our minds, there is a gladness that cannot sufficiently be expressed for those early conversations that inspired us to keep seeking, for the people who welcomed us with warmth into their home and said, ‘You could do this too.’
Today things have hardly changed at all. As we sat on this previous evening in the glow of candles and the warmth of windows surrounded by pale blue shutters, we felt the same surge of inspiration, the same glow of thankfulness. There is something heart-stopping about conversation that knows no restraint, of people who do not live in fear, but instead give freely, sharing honestly from deep within. There is a joy that cannot be sufficiently described about conversation with those who also are not afraid to leap into the unknown, take chances, go in search of something—perhaps not more, but different, and we are uplifted, challenged, filled up.
These are the conversations, tables, settings that we—as a family—talk about when we’re packing up our life to go on the road, and reflect on in our quieter moments. These are the conversations we know will nourish our seeking-out-something-else selves and oh how we long for them when life becomes a little stuck.
This morning, this moment—this moment of watching the sun rise—our hearts are glad, our souls nourished, and our truest selves basking in the peace of knowing there will be more tables on this trip in our wandering van that we will sit around, feeling the glow of not just candles that light up the dark, awe-inspiring night sky of this region, but also conversation that lights up our hearts and fires up our imaginations.
Thank you for reading/listening. If you would like to connect on a deeper level, I invite you to become a valued subscriber to the Slow Into The Seasons community where we enjoy nature, journalling, and practicing yoga and mindfulness together. You would be so very welcome!