One Year of Life in Wilderness

Daria & Heine Rasmussen, Bliss & Stars founders

One year ago, we moved to the place of our dreams. A farm off the beaten track in the African bush where time is measured by the position of the sun and the only reminder of civilisation is the odd jet stripe when a lonely aeroplane is crossing the big blue sky.

We feel grateful and humbled to be the keepers of land boasting a beauty and diversity far beyond our wildest imagination. It’s been a long and exciting journey.  Both measured by the countless kilometres of dirt road (some more challenging than others) as well as the mental journey embracing the unknown.

 

Daria and Heine Rasmussen at Bliss & Stars
Deprivation of basic commodities has been one of the most interesting experiences. In the modern lifestyle we often forget the bigger picture. Our needs can be satisfied with an effortless push of a button causing us to loose awareness of our interdependence to nature. For us, embracing the basic life has been  a transformative journey. Life in the bush has learned us to let go of expectations and re-connect with  nature. A nature where the beauty and brutality becomes very present. When we moved here there was just one cottage that gave us shelter, but no electricity, no running water apart from beautiful spring. And no internet or mobile coverage. These conditions dictated the rhythm of our days. Getting up with the sunrise, going to bed just after sunset. And being connected to each other and surroundings rather than World Wide Web 😉
We’ve slowly established our solar power farm, water system for refreshing showers & baths and irrigation for our gardens. We’ve learned so much. We learned to value things we took or granted before.

The joy to see water flow from a tap, a bulb light up or taking a warm shower all reaches a new level of satisfaction and gratitude when you know this is the fruit of the merge of your own ingenuity, the natural resources around provided by an environment which can both crush or nourish you.

Everyday, the aliveness and silence of the bush, the beauty of the night sky put us in awe. We feel our interdependence with nature every day.

We have not only built our very own miniature municipality services (who else will provide flowing water, electricity, waste management etc. when you live 40 min. away from the public road) but also built stunning chalets and tent platforms. Bliss & Stars wilderness retreat is getting closer to be finished.
We are wiser, more mindful and resilient going through ebbs and flows of running a building project and meeting all sorts of challenges, baboons eating our watermelons, our cars breaking down, people letting us down, dogs chasing snakes, road disputes, mice chewing on cables, running out of the building materials in the middle of lockdown, and so on and on.

This is definitely most stressful situations we have tried in life (the corporate hassle stress pales compared to this), yet we’ve never felt less stressed.
We can’t wait to welcome you at Bliss & Stars Wilderness Retreat and embark together on exploration into inner and outer space.

We Are All Travelers

earth image

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.”

H.C. Andersen

And indeed, we are all travelers.

We tend to forget earth is a massive spaceship traveling through space. We do not notice our journey through the cosmos since the ground covered stays unknown to our attention. We lack reference points to draw our attention to where we are heading. We often act as if we were hardcoded for repetition: the daily spin of the Earth, the yearly roundtrip around the sun defining the passing of days and years.
If we don’t pay attention repetition can turn the future into a mere reflection of the past. Repetition might lure us with its false sense of protection, but the price is often paid in a substantial devaluation of our understanding of time. Life can become like a market carrousel at too high speed. If it spins too fast, everything becomes blurry.

We need reference points to know where we are. Often we can find this through traveling meeting new cultures and new settings. Sometimes it is enough merely to take a break and look up.

Take a look at this postcard from an old space traveler. When Earth passes through the trail of an old comet, we get a chance to see what is commonly known as falling stars or meteors.
The short trails of light are created when specks of sand or dust enter the earth’s atmosphere and are gone as quickly as they appear.


Travel, look up, be in this present moment.