© Rosie J.P. Madsen
I often wonder how the hell I managed to move to another country with no savings, job or knowledge of the language. It was summer 2010, my husband and I were newly engaged and I was enjoying living and working at the Findhorn Foundation,Scotland in the communications department, while he looked for oppourtunities to stay in the country. When one such oppourtunity fell through at the last minute, and with no savings on hand, Mads felt he had no option but to temporarily return to stay with family in Denmark.
We were sitting in one of the guest bungalows in The Park, the community’s main site. It was a warm sunny summer morning, and we both fully expected to be seeing each other regularly for the next few months, if not exactly living next door to each other, but suddenly it wasn’t to be. Alarm bells started ringing in my head and I felt fear coming up as well as some anger. Was this the end for us? Well, of course not. We had already been through a fair few challenges and knew we would work it out somehow. But how? “I’ll move to Denmark then” I said.
For a long time, before we met, I had the feeling that I would be living in Scandinavia after Findhorn, but I didn’t have a clue as to how this might happen. Saying yes was easy because I had no doubt that it was the right decision, but practically it was, inevitably, very very hard. We were apart for 6 months, both staying with family, before I moved over to Copenhagen, where Mads had found us a room in a shared house. Financially it was tough, and I learned some tough lessons through my naïvity. Mads taught me the joy of living frugally, (though I’m not sure I’d eat a packed lunch outside in the depths of winter again). Our room had a cracked window and i fondly remember having to wear a hat in bed during the winter. Ahh memories!
Over time, and blessed with support from friends and families, and with a lot of tears and panic, we started making our home in the “real world”, finding our own place, jobs which supported us just enough, and started settling a little. But we are still not settled, because our intuition is now prodding us, telling us we should be back in England. Wow! It feels right, for practical reasons as well as intuitive ones, and we even feel a little relieved. But the big question remains…how are we going to do it?
We have the intention to move at the end of the year, when our tenancy comes to an end, and we are looking to start next year with a long term work exchange in a farm-based community while we figure out our next move. Some days, I wake up excited and positive about our next steps, and other days fear comes up and I wonder if we are just making things worse for ourselves. But we are committed, and like our move 3 years ago, we have no idea of the challenges, joys, and lessons in store for us. Each new development is an oppourtunity to balance practical organisation with surrender!
As a start, we have put the message out to friends and family, and are contacting potential places through the Diggers and Dreamers website. We are also considering long-term House Sitting. We are excited about living in a community where we can learn and work with permaculture and farming a bit more as this is our dream for the future. I’m starting to look at a free online 40 hour permaculture course to learn more. I imagine that moving back to community will be a big change for us, both socially and with all the challenges of living closely together, but at least we have a little experience under our belts to negotiate them. There will certainly be a lot to write about here!
I’ll leave you with an update on our beautiful home grown tiny balcony veg patch (can’t wait for those veggies!). Here you can see the pak choi (awaiting a bigger pot), spiralling beans and sweet pea shoots, and the spinach getting it’s first “proper” leaves in the window box. The chard is recovering well from the move outside (something symbolic there about moving)…many more developments on the way in the coming weeks with spring onions and rucola newly planted. Enjoy!