Saturday, April 16, 2011

Notes from Dorota Owen

It’s Easter, I’m in Spain with the kids as they have long  school holidays and I am recovering from an operation .  Yes, I’m lucky to be able to take it easy as my mum is  looking after me – but after a week, I’m seriously bored and feeling disconnected. Irritation, frustration, and claustrophobia are welling up in me as I lie by the crowded pool in a baking courtyard surrounded by 300 timeshare apartments,  near a café selling  egg and chips, muzak bam-bamm-bamming no matter where I try to hide from it!  The noise from the crowd is deafening. There’s absolutely nobody here I have found to connect with – I feel like an alien!

It’s a far cry from the family experience holidays we spend in Kalikalos , Greece every summer. There, we have a nourishing community which grows around the practices of living, working, learning and sharing our stories together. It doesn’t take long, in the ambience of the centre, to get to know one another in a deep and enriching way.  When we arrive as strangers, we leave as friends - more,  as family…
We make our own music, in fireside sharings in the star-lit evenings, singing and  telling stories. We work in harmony with nature, taking time to  grow  our own food and harvest it, setting the table with a colourful array of salads and delicious home-cooked meals, and we sit and have beautiful conversations under the canopy of a vine, overlooking the Aegean sea. We learn so much from one another, this rainbow of  international visitors who come to share their skills and their beautiful beings in the summer school that is Kalikalos.

The difference is so marked - peace and quiet when we need it, beautiful walks in unspoilt nature in every direction, a sweet little traditional village nearby for  connection to the locality.  It is wonderful to come and bask in the ethos of Kalikalos, and my children have come to feel it is their entitlement every summer, to meet up with the friend they have made over the years and to make more friends. That’s adult friends as well as young people of all ages, a truly multi-generational community. So much hilarity!