64. FLOODS OF THOUGHT

It can’t be real if it only exists in the mind. Or so I tell myself as I lie in a thick, billowy, cumulus cloud of a bed at the home of Tara and Jonathan in the nearby town of Olhao. Ensconced in heavenly Casa Fuzeta, it is hard to imagine the flood really happened….

63. BLESSINGS AND OTHER ACTS OF GOD

“Come for lunch!” I tell Ocean and Wyunn, a couple from England, who’ve driven almost an hour in their campervan to meet me. I’ve kept them waiting almost as long and now its time for my next appointment. “I’m meeting a couple yoga teachers at a vegetarian restaurant in the village but I’m sure you’d…

62. ON CATERPILLARS, CROCODILES, AND CAMPERS

Immersed in all this reflection, I am so loving the absence of people at Golden Web. I am so grateful there is not even one human being around that I wonder if I’m cut out for a retreat centre. So what will I do when dozens of people are coming and going? How will I…

61. SHEEP SOUP FOR THE SOUL

Amalia is the first animal I’ve owned since childhood, other than a hamster I had for five days in college. (Fish don’t count.) I returned that hamster to the pet shop when, on evening four, it popped out a litter of seven squirming, bald, pink, toothless pups. Animals weren’t allowed in the dorms; I’d gone…

60. PEOPLED OUT AND ANIMALED IN

My daughter, when she needs alone time from her extrovert mother and her mother’s many friends, tells me she’s ‘peopled out.’ ‘Peopled out’ is her cue for me to leave her alone, give her space. She knows from too much experience that if she says she’s feeling overwhelmed or exhausted or undone, I may attempt…

59. DUPPY KNOW WHO FI FRIGHTEN – Oct 2020

The new volunteer, Kirsty, is settling in. She has arrived from visiting the north of Portugal where she has completed a course in herbal extraction and soap-making. She brings me a lovely hand-made bar. She also spent a couple weeks practicing healing work on a friend’s father, using medicinal plants. Turns out she has studied…

58. AND SPEAKING OF SETTING BOUNDARIES – Oct 2020

Golden Web sits less than two kilometres from the Atlantic. Like the nearby ocean, life here has been sometimes calm, sometimes tumultuous. Golden Web’s weather systems have appeared in the form of people. We’ve endures some choppy moments and some full-on storms. But mostly, its been a predictable a flow of steady, soothing waves with…

57. TIME TO TRAMPLE – Sept 2020

It seems as if the land here at Golden Web is intent on stirring up dust. All had settled down for a day when my phone rings. I answer these days, ‘Ola, bom dia’ as usual, closing my eyes, as usual, and praying that I can possibly eke out a familiar word or two. Just…

56. COOLING DOWN – Sept 2020

Summer is starting to recede with the slightest indications that Fall is approaching. The Atlantic Ocean has dropped in temperature by about 2 degrees, guaranteeing that I will not be swimming in the Algarve till next year. (But if you plan to visit in the Fall, please don’t be deterred. My internal engine kicks into…

55. THE FARM IS ON FIRE Sept 2020

Amalia, the sheep, is hot and ornery under the Algarve summer sky. She either pants heavily, her glassy black eyeballs half-lidded as if she’s about to pass out or she tosses her head about trying to generate a breeze about her face, not minding where her horns crash. This is when she’s not bucking a…

54. CHILDREN (AND SHEEP) WHO SOAR – Aug 2020

My phone rings. Saturday has barely begun. I glance at the time before answering. It’s minutes after seven. “Anna! Have you checked on your sheep? Well, you better check on your sheep!” We have our first human guest arriving in less than two hours however and I still have a few things to do. But…

53. ANGELS IN OUR MIDST – July 2020

“We’ve got a guest,” I announce to Ise and Ingrid the next morning over coffee. “Are we ready?” asks my daughter. “Not really,” I answer. “But we can be somewhat and let him know what to expect,” says Ingrid wisely. The three of us get to work on the yoga studio and lounge, painting the…