A bird sang merrily right in front of my window and woke me up. It’s only 6:30 in the morning. Since I don’t like lying awake in bed for hours I get up and look out of the window to see what the weather is like. It’s a bright sunny day, with little white clouds drifting through the blue sky. No wonder the bird was so merry! What a change to my waking up 3 days ago when I was still at our other place in Australia. I exchanged waves and dolphins for blooming apple trees and horse smell.
I open the window and look across the yard at the blooming apple trees in the orchard and I can hear the bees there humming their morning song. It’s really idyllic and I take a deep breath of apple blossom scented air. In the distance a horse whinnies and the chicken have already been let out for the day.
My dog, a beautiful black and white border collie, now wakes up, yawning and sniffing in the fresh morning air. With a little bark he greets me and the day, we cuddle and then he walks to the door to tell me he wants his breakfast.
I open the door and there my daughter comes along the aisle, accompanied by her own border collie. She takes both dogs with her while I hastily dress and follow her downstairs into the breakfast room. We are very early, none of our guests are awake yet. But then, they are here to relax and get as much sleep as they can. Our cook feeds the dogs, serves our breakfast and while eating we talk about my visit to our australian company. I’ve been there for 5 weeks and we have to catch up on all the news we didn’t write each other.
After a little while our manager joins us and todays’ program with horse riding, gardening and Anastasia seed planting with the guests, preparations for Sundays’ picnic on the river bank and the weekly plan of healers for our healing sessions are gone through. We have to get the grand hall ready for tomorrows’ concert as well. My daughter is in charge of the horse riding and soon leaves us to instruct her team and get all the preparations done. The dogs follow her and chase each other on the way to the stables.
Mornings are my favourite time of day and I really enjoy drinking my coffee in my private nook under the lime tree, with a view over flower beds and further on into the countryside. As a High Sensitive Person, several times a day I need a quiet moment to myself, to regenerate my energy and sort all the things in my head.
Shortly after I sat down my dog joins me and we both meditate on the beauty around us. Then we tour the gardens to check on the progress in winter cleaning and planting of the flower beds. We pass the new dove cote, a wish of my gardener, which is already populated with white doves. He loves them as if they were his children and he trains them to carry letters just like in former times. Well, the whole estate is old fashioned but it’s that which makes it so very cosy.
The garden changes into a meadow and after crossing that we are in the forest. I go a little further in to check on our forest sheep. They stay out there all year and their wool is extremely warm and thick. My dog runs around and checks if the whole flock is here and none is missing. Everything is okay and we continue the path into the wood which goes halfway around our pastries, moves on into a meadow and meets the road just before it enters the main yard of the mansion. My dog runs into the stables to get a nap in the hay while I go in for the healing and coaching sessions.
Today lunch is served in the new conservatory. I always dreamed of a year-round garden under glass and now I can eat next to palm trees and banana plants. The Bougainvillea has grown very much and the mango and avocado trees flourish in this artificial tropical climate. There are flower beds spread across the room and various herbs grow in them next to fragrant flowers. The herbs are free to pick and eat or add to your dish.
After lunch I go and check on the preparations for tomorrows’ concert. The chairs are all set up, the stage is ready and my husband comes into the hall to bring in the professional HD camera he bought in town yesterday. He came back just this minute. We smile at each other and he tells me all the news of our friends, where he stayed for the night. They want to come tomorrow to hear the concert and stay for the weekend so I will get a chance to chat with them too. We see through all the things with our technician and hand the equipment over to him so he can install everything for tomorrow. With our concerts we want to create a series of audio CDs to sell in our shop and present it to our clients to give them the opportunity of travelling back to this carefree time and place in their thoughts, to take a bit of healing music away with them.
It’s half past 3 o’clock now and my husband and I decide to take our tea in the conservatory adjoining the restaurant, since he had no lunch and is rather hungry. After tea we both change clothes and work for 2 hours in our own private garden. As a child I read “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson-Burnett and always since I wanted to have my own walled garden. Now this is reality and I tend
it together with my husband and occasionally with my children. It is such a lovely and quiet spot, perfect for myself to rest and recreate from my demanding business. I designed this garden very spacious so there was even room for a little private swimming pond.
Compared to former times I hardly ever feel stressed although I have two businesses to run. The people working here and in Australia are very professional and reliable and because of their good salary and reasonable working hours plus one more week of holidays they are very happy with their jobs. I treat them as I myself would like to be treated at my work place and it really pays off. Many of them have good ideas, the dove cote for example or the big treehouse where you really can live in for a few days. My own children stay there regularly with some of their friends from university. It’s actually two houses and they are linked together by a wooden hanging bridge. There are transparent printed solar units on the roofs which provide electricity so they have light and even a small cooking stove up there. It is a good place for solitude and meditation too when it is not inhabited.
At 7pm dinner will be served and we have to go back to the house to have a shower and change from our gardening outfit into presentable clothes again. I like to dress up a bit when we dine together with our clients in the big dining hall. We live in an old palace after all.
At dinner we meet our clients and chat with a few of them. Those that have stayed for 3 weeks or more already have improved very much, their complexion is vivid and fresh and they talk animatedly and with interest about their stay with us and their future plans. It delights me to see this. We have a special training for them to develop a plan how to integrate their newly found hobbies and daily routine into their regular life. If possible, we integrate their family into this training too so it usually takes place on the weekend and is always very interesting and much fun. On weekends the house usually is fully booked, especially when there is a concert on saturday evening. This weekend even the tree house is booked and we will have a few tents on the lawn. Hopefully the weather will be nice.
After dinner everyone withdraws. We have no television and our internet is not accessible to our clients, it’s only used for our business. Mobile phones are not working here as well. Our clients really have to slow down and find other occupations. Many go for an evening walk after dinner or visit the Stables for the evening procedure there, occasionally helping out. They play with our cats or the dogs, sit somewhere on a bench in the gardens or you find them in our extensive library reading or writing a letter. Writing material is always available there and free of charge.
We call in our dogs and then we go to our own rooms, which are separated from the guests’ rooms in the east wing and are a fully equipped flat. If we don’t want to mingle with our guests we can stay in our flat and live a normal family life. I do a bit of sewing to get my dress ready for our themed ball in June while my husband relates all about his shopping tour the day before.
When going to bed I think back to the first half of my life and I feel so blessed that I could change everything and do what I really wanted. My nose isn’t constantly irritated by awful smells of a busy and overcrowded town. I have the best food I can imagine and I can help many many people to change their lives for the better. My cook for example is one of my former clients. We get along extremely well together and she is a completely different and happy person now. I am so happy here in the countryside and I don’t feel lonely or bored at all as so many have foretold I would. And if the winter here in Austria gets too cold for me I can get on a plane to the Gold Coast in Australia and enjoy the sun and the sea. I am so thankful to have been able to realise this colourful life, connected with nature and people at the same time. And with these happy thoughts racing through my brain I fall asleep.
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3