It is over now, my sabbatical year. (Although I prefer calling it my Gift Year, because it was the best gift I’ve ever given myself.)
What a special year…
A year of major changes, and of uncertainties turning into certainties. A year, during which I rediscovered myself and what’s important in my life. An incredibly happy year!
If I should sum up this year it would be with these words: Simplicity, Nature, and Photography.
Up here in the mountain village, my lifestyle and my habits have become very simple. That goes for all from food to clothing, from entertainment to shopping wishes. It brings me deep satisfaction to truly live the motto “less is more” and to leave the smallest possible footprint on Mother Earth.
Every single day (except one of illness), in any weather I’ve been out hiking for hours. On some days I’ve had to force myself out of the door, but it was always worthwhile. The beauty of nature, the stillness, the little surprises (a close encounter with a squirrel, a rare flower, an enchanting spiderweb), and the freshness – it all invigorates me and brings me back to the Here and Now.
During this year I’ve rediscovered my passion for photography. On my hikes and smaller travels, always an open eye for a beautiful subject, for colours, flowers, a play of light, or an amazing cloud. Even if I’d walk the same path every day, there’d always be something new to discover! It is as though the camera (actually my cell phone) sharpens my vision.
The villagers laugh a little at me, I think, always passing by in hiking outfit, but they greet me with kindness and some of them even start smaller conversations. Through the local church choir and hiking group I’ve made not only acquaintances but even some good friends. I feel at home up here.
And now…? Well, that will come in the next blog post. 😉