• Nadine Almer

Day 24 & 25: A very special place of mine & Quarantine thought patterns

29.1.2021

The night was pretty windy and the unfamiliar sounds that resulted from this left Marjorie and me sleepless. The house creaked, the wind blew from every side and the noise from the stones at the beach beneath, mixed with the force of crashing waves against the cliffs roared through the tight shut doors and windows. All of this beauty that I am surrounded by, the comfortable life inside four strong walls and a roof with heated rooms and a cozy, soft bed, it tends to let me forget the sheer force of nature and how easily, if exposed and without shelter and luxury, it could and most certainly would destroy my fragile body. This night surely reminded me how important a home is, a shelter where you can warm up, regain strength, feel safe and sound.

While living in a city there were very few situations were I felt like nature could interfere with my day to day life, not even the strongest wind there led me to think about a plan as of what I would do if the roof would come off. In such a secluded place as this and with such intense weather conditions, these kind of thoughts did come up. Only after talking to Sarah the next day did I realize this. She told me that what I had experienced as quite frightening and intense, for those who live here though, it was not even worth a blink of the eye.


Although the night was short, we were up by 8 and as the weather had calmed and seemed to give way for an amazingly beautiful day, we went outside to enjoy some fresh air and celebrate our potential survival of the night.

You all know by now (or not) how often I am amazed and call almost every single walk the most beautiful walk ever- this one was no different, in fact, and I will repeat myself here again I guess, this one may have been one of the most amazing ones yet. I even found a place where I intend to go at least once a week, a special place, very far down by the cliffs, on the edge of a huge rock that gives just enough place for my body to stretch out on my back onto a wonderfully soft square of grass and moss, surrounded by crashing waves, on one side the landscape of a few scattered non-inhabited islands and to the other the coastline formed by cliffs, and in front nothing but the horizon where the ocean merges into the sky. Marjorie did not come down with me but found a place where she had a good overview of the situation and was about 20 meters above me.

At first I just screamed in joy and excitement against the raging waves beneath my feet, then I was suprised by little snowflakes that turned out to be hurled up pieces of sea-spray caused by the waves crashing alongside the land and due to the wind blown up in the air it seemed like snowflakes in a whirlwind, afterwards I just lay on my back, closed my eyes and listened to the sounds. I tried to capture this place with my camera but I have to admit I deleted every single one I made and maybe this is for the best, maybe this place was meant to be seen by eyes only because the magic could not have been captured with a lens, I doubt even a drone could have transported the magic of it.

Not that I had any need of taking more pictures anyway, during this 3 hour walk I had taken nearly 90 photographs, resulting in 46 to look at more closely, after that 29 made the next step from the camera to the big screen transferred onto the tablet and in the end only 13 made their way into the picture library of this day. And these pictures are dear to me and remind me of that place where I will leave a tiny part of my heart behind, my own special place.


The rest of the day was rather ordinary and lazy to be honest, I did a little bit of work, cooked but mostly watched a DVD called "Human Planet", focusing on the most hostile environments where people have settled and adapted to, e.g. deserts, rain forest, mountain tops or a tribe that never leaves the ocean and always live on a boat (hunting fish by diving down and holding their breath a minimum of 5 minutes straight, even getting land-sick if they do set foot on land).



30.1.21

Today was the day that I got introduced to the farm animals here. After another long morning walk and some translation work, Sarah brought Marjorie and me to the different places where their cattle and sheep are settled. Not only was it a beautiful day with the sun warming the air, Marjorie got introduced to Rocky and Wisp, the work dogs and I got acquainted with the feeding routine.

Rocky is a force to be reckoned with, in the cutest way imaginable- he seems unaware of his strength and nearly knocked me over twice while he ran towards me to animate me to play with him, also he takes his job very seriously and is so keen to work and be of help with the animals that it is hard to tame his excitement and joy, nonetheless he listens very well given his level of energy and eagerness to herd. Wisp on the other hand is so concentrated all the time and listens so carefully that you nearly would overlook him as Rocky jumps around and you automatically focus on what he is doing instead. The intense concentration of Wisp reminded me of a chess player, calculating every eventuality to be in control of every possible situation as well as command that might be given by his human partner. As soon he was aware that work for the day was done though, he changed into a calm but curious personality and showed interest in Marjorie. All three of them seemed to get along really well and I am so looking forward to having a walk with them soon, but then again I am also looking forward to have a walk with the Retrievers Bolt and Freyja, generally I am looking forward to have a walk with others.


I really enjoyed my long walks with Marjorie alone, though looking back I never really was alone. There were always humans accompanied by dogs or just humans doing human stuff like running or strolling at some point of our walks, and also at some point I would always have a chat, sometimes small talk and sometimes literally lasting until the end as we would continue talking and finishing our walk together. So it is only now in this aboslute isolation that I realize how much contact I always had with others, how much interaction there was- even during lockdown you had this social interaction because essentially you had to go out and wanted to go out to walk with your dog. Here this is obviously very different, and this was something that had not occured to me before. My only interaction so far has been with Sarah (and Andrew very briefly when we arrived here monday) and their four dogs, there simply was no other human being outside during any of our walks, there was no other dog there and apart from some cattle, sheep or birds (and today we saw wild deer as well) there was no other contact with any animal too.

To sum it up today was eye opening in many ways and the majority of my afternoon was spent on thinking about why I started to feel so strange lately and why I felt that way even though I was so enormously happy to be here.


These thoughts that I stated up above are just a few conclusions, another one definitely is a kind of guilt and shame. I literally have a holiday here, doing nothing of service for my hosts and are not able to really be of any help. Which led me to think about why I was feeling that way when I had no other choice but to stay put and self-isolate, eventually I realized that I always felt guilty when I spent leisure time with things like binge watching something or eating to much or just simply sleep longer than an average person would do or boldly doing nothing except listening to music. Thought patterns showed themselves and soon I was convinced that this was an opportunity to give myself a self-development challenge, shortly afterwards I came across a self-love challenge during the month of February, fitting perfectly into my schedule as it mostly consisted of a daily mail with a question to journal about, which also is perfect as I journal everyday now since the first of last November.

Said and done, this is were I stand right now.

Beauty and might surrounding me, realizations of differences slowly sinking in and meassures taken for mental health care, settling in.


With that I send you love and light, beloved souls

All the best

Nadine

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