It is a beautiful summer day here in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain. Jasmine and I have just marked our fourth week of being on our “On the Road” assignment as ascension students. We have had a few days of clouds and cooler temperatures buoyed by cooling breezes that exquisitely caress body, mind, and spirit.
Since I last wrote, three of our volunteers have left: one has gone home to Hungary to follow a dream that was taking shape before he arrived, another to a different place in Spain where he feels there will be a better fit for him with more time for meditation and healing, and a third who will return shortly after spending some time at another farm. This happens frequently here as everyone needs help and sometimes it’s difficult to come by at the time it’s needed most, so everyone pitches in as they can, often having volunteers “farm jump” from time to time.
Since arriving on the 16th of June, there have been twelve volunteers who have passed through not counting Jasmine and myself.
Our center’s owner does not like to leave the farm to acquire provisions, telling us he typically does so every three months or so unless necessity dictates otherwise. Traveling to town by car takes him away for the entire day and costs €50 in petrol. This, in addition to a still-healing leg that required surgery and pins to repair a break, makes it uncomfortable for him to make the long, bumpy drive down narrow, winding mountain roads. When we ran out of fresh fruits and vegetables this week, a neighbor happily delivered abundant provisions for many delightful meals to come.
This is how it is, due to the remoteness of the location and because a sense of community is valued by all the farmers and villagers who live in the Sierra Nevada. It is also valued by everyone here at the holistic healing center.
There is a feeling that all of us (whomever that may be in any given moment and also those who have moved on) have always been here and always will be. There is an undeniable feeling of love that permeates this entire experience. And it’s especially prevalent when we share meals and light-hearted conversation and is observable among other interactions, unless there is a momentary dip out of the heart space into a mental space, which can happen from time to time. However, these moments are few and far between now, having taken some effort and course corrections in the beginning weeks for everyone.
My blog is about community and would not be complete without mentioning the horses and goats here. They have been a delight to all of us, especially the goats, who have the quirkiest personalities and who, without exception, unabashedly express love for all of us in almost every encounter. I say “almost” tongue in cheek because even if they act up a little from time to time, they are still love in action and they are quite endearing and fun. Everyone here has quickly learned that they have the ability to respond to love and heart-based action and the more love that is given to them, the more love and cooperation is received in return, so “acting up” can really be minimal if we choose it; we create our reality after all.
Jasmine and I, along with our fellow U.K. college student volunteers named them and they are quickly getting used to their names. So, a big shout out to all of the volunteers who have helped with milking and to our amazing community of goats: Big Mama, Sleepy, Licky, Dahlila, Ding Dong, Pumpkin, Barry, and Maya. We love you and even though you have to be milked two times a day and it can challenge one’s hands and wrists to do so (a labour of love!), I recommend that every farm and ascension center that takes on a farm-based flavor has a few goats as well as, of course, dogs and cats. A tip for any who need to know this: goats truly love being sung to and cuddled. They also love salt and the more “licky” of them will lick every millimeter of exposed skin if you let them.
There are also five stunning horses here who roam freely grazing the land and enjoying visits from all the volunteers, often seeking out our company. To see them running at a fast gallop toward you when you call them is breathtaking. Their names are Gaia, Rubia, E-wee (pronounced eeeee-weeee), Lila, and Santilla. It is my job to look after them although I previously had no horse caring or training experience. They have not been ridden for awhile, a situation that will likely change when the owner’s children who were raised on this farm, arrive for a visit mid-August. I did have the experience, with the help of a former volunteer who had experience with horses, of bareback mounting and dismounting with a short trot in between, which I enjoyed very much. I am learning rapidly and have developed a relationship with all of them I will treasure forever.
Beautiful experiences I am enjoying here and they are all surely something to celebrate!