It’s true that I’m stretching my body and mind beyond their natural limits. Who could have envisioned that I would be steering a tractor across steep slopes, felling trees and chopping logs, managing a team of construction workers, trying to enthuse them for the wabi sabi aesthetic? Since moving to Lescure, it’s all in a day’s work.
Thomas, who works even more boundlessly than I do, finds deep relaxation through bathing. A long soak in his wood-fired hot tub, or wandering slowly and quietly under Lescure’s green cathedral of trees. A form of healing, which the Japanese call ‘forest bathing’ or shinrin-yoku. Though I enjoy these baths too, I’m more of a natural nester. My home needs to be a place where I can feel safe, be completely calm, think clearly and dream big. You’ll always find me keeping a couple of rooms clean and dusted (no mean feat in a château under renovation), books aligned and loungewear ready. In the same token, I intuitively scatter calm inducing objects around the place.
Some of these are works of art, like Yumiko Yoneda’s white sculpture Portrait of Feeling, which tunes my soul into peace and stillness whenever I’m near it. Others are more random finds. A weathered and unassuming clay pot that silences me with a quiet authority as I race past it in the service entrance. The old procession lamp that we fitted for electricity and now paints reflections on the walls. Or the Chinese wooden monks with their delicate hands and serene faces, gently and amusedly observing my frantic behaviour from the kitchen counter.
Lescure certainly brings me trials and tribulations, but also offers a path towards home as sanctuary, a place with a carefully curated interior that tells the relentless voices in my head to tone it down. Where everything presents an opportunity to see beauty and to focus on things as they are, right now.