Old Place of Monreith, pt.2

by exemigrantka

The question is:

– “How relaxing can it get?”

And the answer is?

Well, let’s see… The journey to The Dowies was easy for me. I was coming from Kraków where the temperature was -15 degrees Celsius on the morning of my departure, preceded by about 2 weeks of temperatures ranging around -20 mark. I remember always being told to watch out for the Scottish weather, which can be inclement at times, to say the least. You can therefore imagine my surprise when I found the weather in Edinburgh rather mild upon landing.

I am known for notoriously rushing from place to place, allowing my diary to get dangerously overcrowded with engagements and ridiculously tight itineraries. On this occasion however I have refrained from indulging this insane habit of mine. And so I had the time to pop into delicious David Bann restaurant, where I had a drawn out 3 course meal, read the newspaper and chatted with the waiter.

The next stop was Glasgow where I was meeting one of the Monreith guests and had a social engagement to attend. The slow pace of the afternoon has worked its magic. I started relaxing even before I got to the Old Place!

There were little hiccups on the way – I think it is in logistics’ nature to sometimes go “funny” on me, so I now know that it may happen. And when it does I stand firmly on the “no drama” front. It works a treat.

Back to my question… Relaxation is not something that I have a lot of in my life. By relaxation I mean what people sometimes refer to as “quality time”. Work, relationship, three kids, a busy household, chores – it all takes a lot of time. Most of it, really. Sometimes I manage to sit down and knit for a while or take a bath instead of a shower, but that is it! And there is a good bedtime routine which works very well for me…

Being away from home creates a massive lack of “familiar circumstances”. It’s an opening to create. There is space and time that are like a living canvas waiting for life to happen. One of the ideas in Waldorf education is that the reason, other than the obvious one we all know about, that children need enough sleep is that they process everything that happens during the day in their sleep. It is essential for their growth and development. I suspect that it applies to adults as much as to children. Being away, in the middle of nowhere, without any distractions of daily life, is like that act of sleeping for me. Except that I am wide awake and aware.

I can go and dwell within for a while and the new frontiers of being with myself stay with me even when this blissful period of temporary refuge comes to an end. Same goes for newly discovered ways of being with others. The shifts seem tiny but, in fact, they are huge.


I suppose where I am going with this is that getting to a point of deep relaxation takes a while and the conditions have to be right. Having an intention helps too. I wondered how me being so relaxed would impact the group also, as everyone’s state of being was felt within the group. The surprising thing for me was how often and how many women have remarked on how very relaxed I was! Hearing it from the lips of women who know me well and know how hectic I can be was particularly bemusing. All in all, I think we were a pretty chilled group, so my attitude fitted right in.

Somehow, without a great deal of thought, I have worked my way through some deep issues that were nagging at me for a while and have made a couple of important decisions. The task of accomplishing that was light as a feather!

This morning I have come across this quote:

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

I have no doubt that The Old Place of Monreith has witnessed life, not existence.

PS: The answer to my question is: “Deeply.”