My dear soulsister came to visit the other day. Her presence in and reaction to my current home reminded me of the fact, that neither words nor photo’s may be sufficient to describe the wonderful experience of living here. At the same time, they motivated me to give it a try nonetheless. Here’s an impression of life at the Mommenhoeve so far.
About a year ago, when the first leaves and autumn rains were falling, I longed for a home where I could step out of the door into the mud. This longing to live closer to nature finally caused me to move out into the unknown, to follow that calling.
Today, I’m oh so grateful to experience the beginning of this season in a beautiful pipowagen (trailer) at the Mommenhoeve. Writing this now, I just came back inside. I hear the soft raindrops on the roof. Looking out of the window I see a sea of green with some yellow and brown. The walnut trees moving gently in the wind. When I open my door, I’m outside. The fresh air never fails to wake me up to the present moment. The scenery makes me sigh and relax spontaneously.
Earlier this year, I spent spring and summer in beautiful places in the Netherlands and abroad. On returning to the Netherlands in the end of the summer, I felt it was time to settle here. Just across the Dutch border I stopped the car in the middle of the countryside. Standing there I saw the flat land, breathed in the air, heard some sheep and felt relieved: ‘yes, I can feel at home here’. It was the last confirmation I needed to focus my journey for the months to come on the Netherlands. I was to discover the beautiful spots in this country, including that spot in nature where I would be able to settle together with a community. In the meantime, I landed at the Mommenhoeve.
The Mommenhoeve is home to a young family with two children. The long stretched piece of land is full of apple and peer trees, there is a fire-place, a swing and trampoline. The further you move away from the house and towards the walnut orchard in the back of the garden, the more you drop into silence. There, looking out on the trees, the neighbouring two horses to the right and two sheep to the left, standing behind the bushes and underneath the sweet chestnut tree is where I live right now: a white with light blue pipowagen with cosy and practical interior.
After weeks of travelling and sleepover at friends and family, I had finally found a place to call my (temporary) home. A private space with room to store my food, a spot for my clothes, shelves to put a few books and watercolours in. My mobile altar gets some rest. Wow, I had not foreseen how such a simple thing could be so meaningful to me. This homey feeling encouraged me to really land – inside myself, in the trailer, on the land and in the wider surroundings. I decorate my space with elements from nature and inspirational quotes or own drawings, I dry herbs for tea or and cooking, I help harvest and enjoy the fruits of nature’s abundance, I explore the surrounding villages, nature and Deventer by bike or walking.
So living here has proven to be a wonderful decision and opportunity. Being indulged in this green environment nourishes me greatly. It’s so fulfilling to be able to contribute to the harvest of apples, peers and nuts, collecting herbs from the garden, as well as doing simple tasks like raking leaves. The weather, the season, the moon, the earth, the animals and plants… We are always one with them, yet living outside I feel their presence and our relationship so much stronger. I enjoy it a lot, even now that, after such a generous spring, summer and beginning of autumn, the first chilly days and nights have made their entry.
What’s more, this location turned out to be very practical in order to visit other interesting and inspiring places and people. In the last weeks, I had the chance to visit among others De Dieken, Casa de la Luz, and Earth Awareness Teuge. I also discovered more places to visit soon, like Landgoed Algoed.
Last and surely not least, I am very grateful to the family as a whole. Besides their individual (creative) endeavors and family life, Lars and Saskia organise events in which they share this natural environment and their love for wood oven pizza, fire, silence and conscious connection. Apart from that, I’m grateful to the boys and their wisdom, play and fresh presence. Grateful to Lars and his practical support and gentle, joyful conversations. Grateful to the words and silence I share with Saskia in which I found much support and inspiration to continue dreaming and walking my path (I share more on these dreams and my path in blogpost Sarah Sounds).
Shortly before my initial moving-out date, there was one weekend when the pipowagen was already rented to a guest. So I moved out and in again. As this particular weekend approached, I packed my stuff, cleaned the pipowagen, and surrendered to the feelings that washed over me in the process. My system was shaky, restless, emotional. It showed me the deeply rooted desire to find a home in nature and community. A place where I could truly settle and build something.
From the beginning, my nomadic life style hasn’t been a choice in itself. It was rather a means to find a place to settle and in the meantime already experience living in the countryside. Knowing what you desire is such a powerful thing! Firstly, it enabled me to share this desire with Saskia which created the opening to stay at the Mommenhoeve a little longer. What a relieve and joy! Secondly, it showed me and dear friend Mirjam that we both still have this same desire and it may be time to take a couple of steps towards realising this shared dream.
Ever since we’ve met a couple of years ago, we dream about living together in community and green environment. In a place where we can share our love for nature, silence, singing, dancing and more by simply living it as well as by organising retreats and other programmes. Soon after (and until I moved out for a quest for nature) we moved together with other beautiful beings as The Monkies. So we know how nourishing, healthy, inspiring we are for each other at home and as colleagues. As of today, we are looking for a spacious home in natural surroundings (in NL) where we can further realise our shared and individual potentials from January 2019 onwards.
We’re looking for a light and spacious house, with a piece of land or big garden, in or close to nature, reachable by public transport, with space for friends to stay over as well as to organise day programmes and longer retreats. I see us walking among the (fruit) trees, gathering and singing around the fire, jumping into the natural water closeby, reading or dancing in the living room, harvesting our herbs and vegetables, welcoming friends, creating a loving, gentle, healthy space for ourselves and others to feel at home in.
This is our first sharing of this news online. A Facebook post is in the making. Already we’re happy to hear your suggestions, offers, questions, ideas 🙂
Looking for a place to retreat for a weekend and enjoy solitude, silence and nature next year? You can rent the pipowagen from spring to early autumn and I can only recommend this experience!
Oh and do check out Saskia’s book ‘Nieuwe Paden Banen‘ with personal stories of people who create something from nothing and walk their new, own paths and with beautiful photographs and poems created during her stay at Schiermonnikoog.