I’m currently in transition from the natural world to the modern world. This is due to returning home from 4 days in a magical healing place, The Bach.
In the 1950s my uncles built this bach near Taupo Point, Wainui in Golden Bay. When the land was claimed by The Abel Tasman National Park they were given a lifetime ownership, meaning when they died the bach would need to be dismantled. We are blessed that Uncle Jack, now the sole owner at 92 is still a vibrant, active man.
I have been staying at this special place since I was a kid. It’s a 30 min walk in at low tide with a full backpack. All our food comes too as getting back out isn’t easy. (At high tide leaving would involve going over a goat track on a steep hill and doing some swimming.) There’s some careful rock climbing to do which isn’t too hard if the tide is out and it’s not windy. (Although I have fallen twice which does hurt on those sharp rocks.)
It’s a triumphant feeling to arrive and get that backpack off. We’ve made it! We make our beds up, unpack our food then wheel the trolley down to the waterfall to fill our container. I hang up my hammock, boil the kettle and chase the weka out of the bach.
Day 1 is usually a somewhat challenging transition. The bach has holes, a long drop toilet and sometimes rats as well as no power. (There are gas bottles) The comforts of home we take for granted are suddenly missed. On this trip we left our boys allergy eye drops in the car so off we went back to the carpark only just making it back around the rocks before the tide was too high.
I had an angry, crying meltdown when I learnt my reading glasses were left in the car on trip 2. “How can I do Anything??!” My dear partner went over the hill for a 2nd walk out and a 3rd walk in.
These challenges are actually secret trials to bring emotion to the surface, for greater self-discovery and healing. I learnt I was way more wound up than I thought I was. I’d been multi-tasking to the max in full future focused work mode the days leading up to the trip. My outburst was a release of pent up stress. My partner was able to process some issues of his own on his hour solo walk. The magic was beginning. My dear boy then realised he’d left his book at home (a bach nightmare) He was able to do his processing around this new found ‘lack of’. Luckily my sister was dropping in the next day and could do a delivery.
When we sat down for a Thai red curry chicken on the beach later that day we all breathed out, unwinding was starting to happen. The unfolding days were spent doing yoga on the beach, collecting shells, playing Yahtzee on the lawn, looking for stingray, finding crabs and starfish, playing Frisbee and reading in the hammock. We kayaked, drew pictures and cooked up yummy food. At night we played Yahtzee by candle light and cosied in bed with our books. Our modern life was now 2nd best, our simple bach life was nurturing, healing and just perfect. We didn’t want to go home.
And now we are home. There were lights, cats that had missed us, hot water (which we loved) internet and too many rooms. I found it all quite intense. I couldn’t hear the waves crashing at night. I cried for the simple life. Day 1 at home was 130 emails, 4 loads of washing, food gathering and multiple adjustments at the chiropractor (how symbolic!) I couldn’t focus with so many things demanding my attention. I felt frustrated and tired. I realised this is my ‘normal’ life. I was craving to lie on the beach again with my book, so I gave up trying to do so much, sat in the sun and looked at my photos which helped. That night we lit a candle and played Yahtzee which helped too.
Today I have prayed for support to not over fill my life, to not get caught up in the pressures of modern life and to remember there is a beautiful natural world outside my door. I pray to not rush, to breathe more and to enjoy the simple things. I know this natural way is easier at the bach and I know, with practise and mindfulness, I can bring that vibe home, at least more often than I had been.
Wishing you many natural simple joys,