As this situation has been so different for person to person, country to country, and day to day, wee found it quite difficult to know what to say, how to operate and what to share. Especially in social media, where it feels like we are living in a little bubble up in the northern realms.
So this In Nature experience in Drangedal in the late summer, during the buildup of the second wave of the Covid-19 we felt like we were playing against all odds. This said, it felt more important than ever to guide guide people into nature connection, , as a much needed pause from our everyday lives – in order to rest, reset and to get some clarity and perspective.
We left Oslo one day before the the team, leaving with a beautiful sunrise. These late summer days had to be be appreciated before we transition into autumn. When the guests arrived, there was already a noticeable shift into that well-known autumn feeling. We had a welcome outside by the fire, but after some rounds of tries we had to go in due to rain. It feels a bit like when you are on a hike, where you have to take clothes on and off all the time to adjust, and you always have to have an extra set of wool, in this case – a plan B.
This whole weekend felt a bit like this. We experienced everything from heavy rain to beautiful sunshine. We had to put on our rain gear to go out to work for making the “gapahuk” led by nature guide Irene and we were rewarded so much by getting a clear star sky over us the second night. We were taken care of with beautiful food the whole way, from the pizza with baker Emmanuel Rang the first night, to the breakfast, lunches and dinner with Silje Wienna Stensnæs who cooked for us the whole weekend.
The rhythm of this place is different than in the city. There is no road to the island, so if you forgot something on your way, you have to let go. The surroundings with the lake on all sides of our base gives you a feeling of being called back into the heart of nature. So even if we woke up to rain the first morning, it was so refreshing to tiptoe down to the lake at 06.30 in a towel to properly meet the day. Ecotherapist Caroline Hargreaves guided us through a forest therapy / shinrin-yoku experience, to deepen our experience of the present moment and connect all our senses to the local natural ecology. On the first day, wepracticed yoga and meditation on the first day, but the second day we all agreed that simply sitting together around the fire, sharing a “kokekaffe” warming up after a swim was a more natural way to make the inward journey. When nature shows us her beauty this way, showing gratitude by enjoying and taking it in, just sharing the depth of the present moment is more than enough.
We want to thank everyone who contributed to making this event possible; our beautiful guests, the Food Studio team of Cecilie Dawes and Kristin Føyn-Føyen, nature guide Irene Hirsti-Kvam, ecotherapist Caroline Hargreaves, chef Silje Wienna, photographer Alexander Benjaminsen, and baker Emmanuel Rang.
We also want to thank everyone who contributed with the ingredients for the weekend – having enjoyed seasonal vegetables from Linda Jollys garden in Hengsenga, eggs from Holte farm in Drangedal, coffee from Talor Made, wine curated by Christoffer Naustdal Hjelm, roasted coffee from Talor Brown, Skog – water kefir from Villbrygg, and the amazing Sourish 10 from Bøgedal, in gratitude to Gitte Holmboe.