I am writing this dispatch from my Aegean “office,” sitting in the open air, facing the serene, sacred island of Keros, being serenaded by the sound of Greek birds singing. A small, brightly colored fishing boat (white with red and turquoise blue), so tiny in comparison to the expanse of the sea and the majestic presence of distant islands, seems to inch its way across the horizon. Today is a one boat day. Once this onehas crossed, the passing may stay clear until it slowly makes its way back when the sun starts to go down and the sea changes to a deep shade of purple. It is May, a delicious time to be here.
On my mind: the necessary art of retreat. Not away from the world, but into it.
Picking your season
Season, like place, is a choice. Are you drawn to peak activity when everything is bustling, or perhaps to a certain feel of the air, cool or sultry? For RewildRestore, we picked the moments when this unspoiled island is at its most vibrant and peaceful. In May, the island is flush with green and color, the purple of wild thyme will soon explode over the hills, the bustling is that of the birds. The local fisherman repair their nets in anticipation of the season, and locals have just finished refreshing the island. The sea, almost entirely our own. In June, we will meet again, in the longest days of summer, leading up to Summer Solstice. In these days, the sun sets later into the evening, and it’s incredibly luxurious to know that a day’s adventure has extra space and time.
The remote call of the sea (and adventure)
Even though I’ve been coming to this island for several years, each time I gain my bearings anew, which I love. I have discovered that seas/waters can be like an old friend or a good wine. They have personalities and characteristics, absorbed from the earth and sky and the passage of time. Scientifically, they also have, in their memories, stored intelligences. Once you are in tune with them, they work their magic into your cells, and even into your dreams and inspirations. While all seas have the power to nourish and enchant, I am drawn to this restorative span of the Aegean in particular. It’s not only the centerpiece of RewildRestore, but its reason for being.
My water practice, which I love to share, has a lot to do with befriending water. Listening, sensing, and becoming receptive, both inside your being and to the physicality of the elements. We greet the sea every morning together, set off for secret remote swims, and adventure into places most people don’t have access too. There is a wonderful softening that happens as the ritual takes hold in your body. One of my favorite things to do is walk around the island until you can almost hear the sea calling you… “Here, here,” it says. You do as instructed. Jump in.
Eating what the island has to give
Island life makes you very present to seasonal eating. There’s simply not the means to import huge inventories from faraway places. I enjoy the newness this brings to the palette. As an example, today’s salad is topped with fresh Kritama, or rock samphire, one of the most delicious edible plants on the island. Its Greek name, kritamo, comes from the ancient Greek word for barley, krithmon, because the seeds of both plants resemble one another. One of the healthiest greens, Samphire’s health benefits have been touted since antiquity, even as far back as Dioscorides, the father of pharmacology. Also, while I generally avoid dairy at home, here I love the yogurt and cheeses sourced from the shepherds of nearby islands. All of our meals are Cyclades-sourced, with the one exception of our honey, which comes from a tiny village in the mountains.
The art of retreating
To rewild is to cultivate a aliveness. In ecological terms, it’s often about reintroducing a species of wildlife to an area or repairing damaged ecosystems so that nature can do its thing — be vibrant, generate, grow. In human terms, it’s not dissimilar, but it’s about how go forward. A gentle clearing. A softening. A stripping away of things (including exhaustion) so that we can feel ourselves truly listening, truly feeling, truly sensing. What lies beneath it — that’s the magic to be discovered.
Join Patricia for a nourishing and luxuriously immersive RewildRestore retreat, harnessing the transformative healing power of the water and the senses
Dates May 26- June 1, 2023,
The experience RewildRestore is an immersive experience, dedicated to beauty and the power of ritual. You will experience restorative water and multisensory rituals; adventure into secret, ancient locations; vibrant community and beautiful Cyclades-sourced meals; and fully supported spaciousness for doing what calls you.
The setting Eros Keros, four luxurious Cycladic homes resting in the luxurious gaze of the sacred island of Keros, on the island of Koufonisi.
Who it’s for Anyone aspiring to live a creative and courageous life, who desires to reset down to the cellular level and put new rituals in place. Those drawn to a generosity of space and beauty, who seek meaningful, joyful experiences.