June in Amonines

Asharum Amonines Journal May


Garden of Discovery

What there is to discover when you immerse yourself in the garden is truly a whole new universe, which you start to learn about when you work in the garden. When we cut back the vegetation until the stones of the flower beds come into view, the paths double in width and the garden not only becomes more accessible, but also reaches its fullest expression as a garden.



Working in the garden plays with your perception, as if you enlarge the world by reducing it. To thin the yellow deadnettle, a ground cover, you first follow a whole network of long crawling stems before you can take out the root. An unknown part of the garden emerges when hitherto hidden vegetation and the resting place of a snail is uncovered.


In the back of the garden where the apple tree left a clearing two rowan berry trees and an elder have been newly planted to fill the gap. Also in the back, on the border with the neighbours, a  currant tree is going to give us more privacy, all in time of course.
We take care that the new trees we buy are all local trees with the rowan berry trees a favourite with the birds, just like the chard seeds in our vegetable garden, that they have been eating for days in a row, with little hope for us to see it back on the menu.


The Diamond

In the garden there is a little glass house in the shape of a diamond. On a sunny morning we decided to clean it, because it deserves to radiate. When the sun comes out it looks very reassuring and promising. However, what seems to be more the rule than the exception are the sudden changes of sun and rain and, in this case, thunderstorm. It makes one appreciate the sunny moments and it makes one run to clean the glass roof and windows in between the showers. An adventure we won't soon forget, looking at the shiny roof reflecting the returning sun.


Snail Resort

To minimise the need to dispose of garden waste, we made a compost from garden waste in the car park. This way, the garden waste can be reused in the long run and it also has a second function as a snail resort. To protect the vegetables in the vegetable garden, we had already started taking snails across the road last year with very good results. This month we heard the story of someone who had made snail resorts in her garden; specific places where the snails were allowed to stay and had enough to eat, so there was no need for them to go in search for food. Now, with the snails far away in their resort, we can safely prepare the vegetable garden.


Yoga Retreat

As we are used to by now, this month's yoga retreat was fully booked. Although participants sometimes come in pairs to connect with each other and to be away from daily life, they are always open to be in silence during a part of the retreat. This time friends who came together were in the majority, luckily it did not detract from the single person's experience, who especially valued that one can just be with what is, contemplate and occasionally have a good conversation, without social chatter taking the lead. In tune with the enthusiasm on the last day of the retreat the sun showed herself for the participants to enjoy breakfast outside.

Some participants become regular visitors to the yoga retreat; they have integrated yoga in their lives. In a rare case it actually becomes a way of living, for others it is an important tool to bring life back into a flow, the change clearly visible upon return.


Spring Energy

Completely in tune with the energy of spring a lot of maintenance work and cleaning has been done this month. The colours of the tiles are reappearing and we are putting the firewood, which has suffered a lot from moisture and rain, under a shelter so it can dry properly. Also part of spring energy can be a feeling of restlessness. Being an Asharum, it is the place where personal themes and histories may surface in order to be transformed, therefore feeling restless is not necessarily exceptional, but during one weekend it seemed to be a peculiar mixture of different aims and needs that brought our guests to Amonines. Some people were in silence and there was somebody for whom silence is threatening and somebody who went away for a whole day, but still felt connected and someone who wanted to connect, but could not stay. Even the silence seemed to go in all directions, not knowing where to settle. Since we all share in the same field, we, as staff, also join and mirror what is there and needs to be resolved. The beauty is at the end of such a weekend when the people surface and it becomes apparent that everyone had exactly the experience they needed. It feels like harmony  has arrived.


Did you know that..?

For early birds in the Asharum it is possible to see a fox passing in front of the window of the living room, when you are lucky!