One chapter ends, another begins
It was by complete and perfect synchronicity that I ended up here just at the time when I needed it most. A friend of a friend told me about Eden Hope late last year, the plans for the trip unfolding with ease directly after.
In July, when it was time to board the plane, my body, spirit and emotional being were screaming at me to stop and rest. That’s when it became clear why Vanuatu had called me all those months ago.
Most of my life chapters have ended with some kind of ‘big bang’. An epic untangling – some parts let go willingly, most parts stripped away while I clung to them white knuckled. They have often started out as a quiet dismantling and then ended with a decimation, just in case any residue was left.
This last ending in July was no different.
And while I’ve been through this before – many times – it wasn’t until I stepped away completely from the last chapter, into the quiet interlude, the space in between, held by the Vanuatu rainforest, that I heard the soft shuffling of the page turning and realised with a long exhale what was going on.
Now the white blank pages of the new chapter lie before me, my fingers itch with the desire to write and create, the pages begging me to fill them with new stories and adventures.
“Not yet” I tell the part of me that always wants to push forward. “This time we are going to do it differently.” Partly as an experiment – just to see what happens, partly to have some fun, mainly because I now have the awareness to do it differently this time around.
So, I sit here in the in-between, paying tribute to the last chapter – man, it was a good one – and softly dreaming of the next.
In the past, I would have certainly worried how I looked, or what others thought or why I wasn’t further along my path. I probably would have focussed on all the things I “failed” at in the last chapter and feared I would repeat the same mistakes in the next. I definitely would have started to push my way forward before I was ready, plotting and planning, just to prove my worth and right to be here.
But not this time.
Something quite like peace – maybe it is peace. Is this what peace feels like? – emanates from my heart.
There’s an empty void and, for the first time, I’m not trying to fill it.
I have nothing and I am no one – no business, no job titles, no definite income, no partner, no home, no ‘things’, no clear direction – just me, my two suitcases and a blank slate.
I can’t think of a time when I’ve been happier.
Having nothing and being no one has gifted me everything.
Here’s a little peek into what my days at Eden Hope looked liked:
It took a whole day to get to Eden Hope from the town of Luganville – a bumpy ride on the back of a ute, then three hours in a small boat and then one more hour on a Kawasaki. The remoteness is what makes it so special. This land is largely untouched and the only sounds come from the river, wind rustling through the trees and the song of birds.
Eden Hope has what can only be described as goddess, feminine energy. Nestled along the banks of a river, protected by a mountain range and surrounded by rainforest, you feel like you’re at the end of the world, being held in the sacred womb of mother earth.
The forest is welcoming (not like Australia with bitey, poisonous and stingy things), you can walk everywhere without shoes. As someone who has always preferred no shoes, I buried my shoes in the bottom of my suitcase the moment I arrived and promptly forgot about them.
My home was this tiny bush hut. It appealed to my LOVE of tiny homes and has me dreaming of the day when I can build my own. Many a wonderful realisation came on that front deck, staring up into the tree tops, with the rushing sound of water from the river in the backdrop (in fact, this post you’re reading right now was written right there).
I showered in a cold water, outside shower irregularly. I peed behind trees and pooped in a drop toilet. I used leaves for toilet paper. (I know you were wondering…)