In the summer of 2019, I was faced with a situation that had never happened to me in my life. After more than 20 years, I found myself with no job, no love and no clear purpose. After a series of decisions, perhaps wrong, but which I do not regret, my life had to be put back together from zero.
In an attempt to put an end to the series of unfortunate events that had brought me to this point, I decided to do something that would shake my whole existence from the ground up.
The choice was between:
- To continue with life as usual, through ups and downs, and accept any job.
- Or leave everything and finally live
I chose the second option. I left for a foreign country, knowing only very bad English and having nothing planned. The only point of reference was a friendship that was born in those days, by pure coincidence.
I ended up in Slovakia, among the Hippies. Nothing could be further from what I had always been. And from here began a series of priceless life experiences. Including woodcarving.
I don’t know if we have any gatherings in Italy similar to those I did in Slovakia (if so, let me know!). These hippie gatherings opened up a world to me. People who voluntarily decide to live a life in contrast to consumerism, to be ‘alternative’ in the way of seeing and feeling things can enrich us. But most of all you are stimulated deep down to take a step back and finally see things from the perspective of nature.
- Why buy new things if everything (and everyone) can be given a second chance?
- Why obsess over a life of work alone and neglect to live your own existence?
- Why not return to nature, to care for the environment, to respect plants and animals?
- Why forget the old traditions of our ancestors?
At the Zaježová gathering, I saw a lot of people knitting, crocheting, creating small objects from nothing with ropes, stones, paper. Using natural colours to paint t-shirts, making wide skirts in sizes to suit everyone in bright colours. The opportunity to attend all kinds of workshops from meditation to learning about herbs as a cure unleashes a special energy to which it is difficult to succumb to the charm and then I saw him … Vít’a the woodcarver.
He was doing a workshop on how to make a spoon out of wood. I didn’t understand a single word, of course, but I was fascinated by his manual dexterity. A few hours later, with some new friends, I had the pleasure of meeting him and being able to talk to him in my broken English. He showed me some of his work, he had even completely reupholstered his hippie bus with wood!
The moment I touched one of his spoons in my hand, all made from different shapes, different woods, that I could appreciate the lightness and pleasant feel of the wood was the end, or rather the beginning! Wood is not ‘dead’ as everyone believes. Even when dry, it can give its best. And from that day on, I promised to honour it every day.
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