It is such a cliché, I know, but it truly feels like yesterday that I arrived at Bodhi Khaya in my old beat-up Mercedes affectionately known as Bertha. I moved into Honeysuckle next to the office exactly a year ago.
Looking back at the year that has passed, I am amazed at all the experiences that have made up this cycle. Living in this magical valley, so close to nature, one is especially aware of the changing seasons and how each time of the year has its own charm. At the moment it is all cosy fires and delicious soups, beanies and dashing woollen scarves when we venture out together as a team to Stanford for a treat.
Just the other day, it was summer and we swam in the dams surrounded by water lilies, chased by the odd turtle and chorused by frogs. Which conjures up the lovely Paul McCartney song, “We all stand together”. It reminds me of how to live in community – a lesson which has been a big part of the past year – and how to be a chosen family in a real and authentic sense. We get to know one another, giving and receiving compassion, both in our own small band and also in the broader circle of groups who visit us.
It is wonderful to recognize and connect with our regular guests as they return to us again and again. It certainly feels as if they are also part of our spiritual family. I sometimes catch myself saying , “Welcome home” when a familiar face greets me as the participants on a weekend retreat arrive in the parking lot. Each new group that arrives begins a new cycle of getting to know the energy and flow that makes them unique. Followed by a welcoming, when they return. As we greet them when they leave, there is often a sense that we will meet again – that they will, almost certainly, find their way back here at some point.
It is often through the eyes of the returning visitors that we are reminded of growth, expansion and many reasons to celebrate. Our little shop, now a year old, has grown and flourished under Chantel’s loving care and creativity. It is no longer so little… It has become a bright and bustling space with many beautiful and colourful items ranging from clothes, books, CDs to candles, Zen chairs and other meditation accessories just to name a few. We often find delight in each new item as it arrives, but it is when guests remark on how the shop has grown and changed or how beautiful this or that at Bodhi Khaya is looking that we become aware again that the only constant in life is change. Exciting! Challenging at times, never boring, and with just enough repetition in the cycles to help us find our way and keep our balance.
Perdita Van Dijk Du Bois