After the Fire,  Life-Learning Education


Is it the full moon? Is it my periods? Or are those simply enlargers of something that already is, present in the deepest corners of my being?
Today, I feel shattered. Shattered after a big explosion into one million tiny pieces that are now randomly lying all over. Too tiny and too many to ever, ever, be able to put them back together. Or so it feels. At my feet lie all the debris of the choices I’ve made in life, all the consequences of these choices, all that has happened in the last years, and in particular since the Fire. And where i would normally be able to gather them all back into some sort of shape, right now, i look at it and feel utterly broken, lost, desperately scared and totally void of any hope. I see only darkness, and no way out.

What the hell did i think? What on earth have i put myself into, or worse: put my children in to? Who was i thinking i was, to take such deviating choices in Life, against the main stream?

Look at me now, look at the miserable remnants of that once brave warrior who led her army straight into the battle, which turned out to be a thoughtless decision that led to the defeat of the entire army?

Today, i feel no braveness, only despair. I feel no victory, only loss.

I look at myself, i look at my children, i look at our life, i look at our situation, and where i once could see the positive sides, relativize the negative ones, count my blessings…today, i only see failure, and no way out.

Here we live, the four of us, on an isolated hill. What years ago seemed like heaven on earth, today feels like an exiled island, a prison. We built a small business, we could live our dream: lead a simple life in freedom, be able to collect the fruits of our labor, savor nature and the precious gift of time. We had children. Children grew older. From that place of idealism and in the flow of life, we took the decision to un-school them, because school, the linear system, no longer felt right. Because it felt right to offer our children a space of freedom to discover themselves, to discover their passions, without the pressure to compete and fit into a mold that was not theirs.

Fast forward 5 years.

There no longer is a business, it all burnt. And with it, it burnt our foundation, we are standing on shaking grounds that feel like they will collapse any time.
What seemed like a mere financial disaster (all investment gone, no more income), actually has many more layers to it, natural consequences. There are no more guests coming. No more guests means no more people, no more children. Which is, i realize now, a big hole into the social dynamics on this isolated hill. Especially for the children, who learnt so much from all these people, from talking and playing, from observing and interacting. Yes, i try and have tried all these years to find a balance in the socialization. I have tried to compensate the loss of the natural presence of people on our hill. But it is not enough. Every day, i feel it is too narrow, too little, too poor. I try and try to find ways to create social interaction, with kids and adults alike. But i feel it is not enough. I have opened myself to the possibility of leaving, in search of places where there is a tribe of families wishing and creating the same dreams. But it turns out this is not the dream of my partner. It is his nightmare. How, how then do you create a common dream that is nourishing for all, when the ideals are no longer the same, when needs diverge?

There is tension, and the tension is rising. I observe our children, growing older, their needs changing with their age. And i cannot fulfill these needs. It hurts, damn it hurts! It hurts to admit that right now, we’ re in a mess and i see no way out. It hurts to feel the heavy responsibility of the price the kids pay for a choice they did not make.

In the meantime, we need to survive. Which means their father has been going to work in Holland to earn some money. Staying away for weeks, a month. Coming back. Needing time to re-adjust. Leaving again. His absence on the hill is felt deeply, on may levels.

And here i am, still patiently waiting for new dreams to unfold, at their own pace. It is laughable. Although right now, all i want to do is cry. Weep until no more tears are left and i see light again. Just like the sunshine that came today, after it had rained all night and morning. Light that will cast an unforeseen rainbow on all the million broken pieces and illuminate my path into new solutions.


  • Marc de Regt

    Ongelooflijke sterke en dappere Claire,
    Wij bewaren heel mooie herinneringen aan ons verblijf in de yurt. Ook al is dat jaren geleden.
    We hebben daar heel even mogen proeven van iets heel kostbaars en moois. De stilte in ons wezen herkende de stilte om ons heen en deed ons beseffen dat dat heel kostbare momenten waren. Momenten die door jullie droom en inspanningen mogelijk waren gemaakt.
    Wij danken jullie daar voor, het was denk ik de mooiste vakantie die wij in al die jaren hadden.
    Ook toen (2011?) waren er nog duidelijk restanten van een vorige brand zichtbaar in de bossages rondom de berg. Dat hoort kennelijk ook bij de ademhaling van Portugal.
    Ongetwijfeld hebben jullie kinderen veel geleerd wat andere kinderen misschien nooit zullen leren. Ze zullen hun weg wel vinden…

    Wij wensen jou, Sander en de kids heel veel sterkte, moed en liefde toe in deze moeilijke tijd.
    Vanuit ons veilige Nederland, jullie Anneke & Marc de Regt. 🙌🙏☀️❤

    • Claire

      Ach, wat mooi, wat een lieve woorden, die recht mijn ziel in gaan. Ja, ik kan me jullie nog goed herinneren, de Pipo-plek was er nog niet eens, en Ravi ook nog niet, daar stonden we, aan het begin van de Eco-lodge. Zovele jaren later, zovele lessen later, zoveel schoonheid mogen ervaren. Dank voor je steun, die wordt altijd gevoeld, op een heel diep niveau.
      Inmiddels is de volle maan weer gekrompen en mijn gemnoedstoestand weer stabiel, er is weer hoop en vertrouwen, en er is beweging, alleen al dooe het eruit gegooid te hebben. De golven van het leven, een waar avontuur! Ik hoop dat het jullie ook goed gaat. Met veel liefs van ons viertjes.

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