Kaliyoga France was very different from its Spanish sibling in many ways, for many reasons. But the most important for me was that, for the first time in donkeys' years, I had a sidekick.
I’m usually a loner. Yes, I can be sociable. Yes, I can join in with most groups, fit in quite easily if I make the effort, but I tend to be alone, to travel alone and that's fine because I like my own company. That’s not saying I like me, per se, just that being alone is the norm. Y'know, sometimes I even forget how to talk out loud and when I do, my voice comes as a surprise.
So when I was at Kaliyoga in Spain and Emma said she’d come with me to France, I was surprised, taken aback. Okay, worried a little too. Would I be good enough company? Could I be smart, witty, fun enough? Because it’s one thing amusing people for the odd hour or so, anyone can act the fool for a short period of time. But for a whole week?
|Emma (left) with our yoga teacher Tashi|
But it was fine. More than fine. In fact it was perfect (at least as far as I was concerned). No acting the fool required. She gave me all the space I needed and more – yet it was just so good, so unusual, so wonderful, to feel there was someone there, someone watching my back; knowing someone was unequivocally on my side. I'm slow to trust, I'm a wary soul but she melted my defences darn quick. We shared a little house, so sweet – our own small bedrooms and then a lovely little living room, full of treasures, and a sunkissed balcony.
We spent a lot of time in silence, easy, companionable silence. Yet every so often we would take it in turns to lie on the 60s couch for ‘analysis’ – well, just chatting really, sharing little worries and concerns, big worries and concerns. Not judging, not dictating, not telling one another ‘what you wanna do…’ Never assuming, just listening, warm and dear. And I thought again and again over the week, how funny (and wonderful) it is that life seems to send you people (maybe just lend you them for a little while or perhaps let you keep them for a while longer) just when you need them. Of course it's probably just coincidence but hey...so what?
Emma was/is a true gift. And it did me a world of good not to be hidden away in corners but to be warmed by her generosity of spirit, by an openhearted friendship that demanded nothing, asked for nothing, expected nothing. It was just there – light and free. Magic.