It’s 6am and just growing light. A gentle breeze rustles the leaves of the poplar trees outside the upstairs windows. I roll out from under my sheet and pack my mattress away, making space on the carpet for our daily asanas and mediation.
Krishna starts off the yoga asanas – neck and shoulder stretches, a hip opener, cobra, warrior two, Utthita Trikonasana, Paschimottanasana, Shavasana. We stretch, we bend, we roll, we relax, sinking into the earth.
Our limbs alive, we close our eyes, raise our arms to the heavens and chant kirtan. Baba Nam Kevalam. “Everywhere I look, in everything I hear, feel, see, taste and smell, I perceive that one Supreme Consciousness which pervades all things.”
I wriggle into my shorts, ignoring the mud streaks, grab my hat and dash downstairs into the early morning. There is dew on the grass from last night’s rain. The flowers shine bright and tall. The basil we planted yesterday looks strong.
The white goats want fresh grazing. Pamouk is the leader of this small heard. I tug on her lead, urging her out into the garden and down to the shady forest near the pond. Meran pulls Raja and Shanti along behind us as Om follows happily.
Our morning’s work is a heavy task. Krishna leads the way, axe at the ready. We find some felled oak trees, perfect for making poles and firewood. Lugging them up the hill to the shed takes us all morning. We could work faster, but the logs are heavy and the day is becoming hotter. And it’s hungry work. So we untie the goats and lead them out to the pear tree, to gorge on the fallen fruit as we do the same. I collect blackberries along the way. A few plums round off the meal.
Meran and I sit under a tree in the last field. Yellow St Johns Wood and blue flowers are in bloom here. The goats don’t take much notice of them; they munch on the grass and leaves. We notice a brown-shelled tortoise. It can move surprisingly fast when it wants to get out of the way.
It’s hotter now. And we’re hungry. Our meal is taken under the shade of the plum tree and we rest. I write and Meran naps. Krishna meditates out at the pond. Dada enjoys his colourful flower bed from under his vine of flowering passion fruit. Kolyanii sits with him. The dogs nap and the kittens laze in the sun.
It’s already 6pm but the sun is still high in the sky. We finish carrying the logs up to the shed and move piles of dry sticks to the meditation circle. Krishna takes the goats to a new grazing spot while Meran and I cook. And eat. It’s hungry work this.
And in the evening coolness, Dada waters the abundant food garden – there are four varieties of beans climbing their stalks, soya grows in a long line, spinach and datar leaves add to the greenness, Kolyanii’s so-called brain leaves clog the pathway, parsley and mint smell fragrant.
My pants muddier than before we shovel out the good earth from the goats’ pen. They’ve made good fertiliser. Three wheelbarrows of it. The next seedlings will grow strong.
The sun fades behind the mountain. It’s close to 9pm now and I have time for a quick wash before I join Krishna on the orange carpet for our evening routine of asanas, kirtan and meditation. We sit longer now. My mind wanders and I call my attention back. I listen to the evening crickets and feel the cool air on my cheeks. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Sink deeper. Breathe out.