Almost every year, in spring, just before the opening of the guesthouse in Peter’s Paradise, Peter organizes an estate day in which Peter and a group of his friends prune, fertilize, clip, cut, build and enjoy themselves. This year too had such a day and of course it was truely a day among friends.
The friends here are mainly friends with a rich and long history with Peter and his estate and therefor the friendships here are tested, comfortable and relaxed. These friends come to help make Peter’s Paradise more beautiful and more luxurious, but (and perhaps remarkable) this helping is not a core for these friends but a pleasure they anticipate with joy.
It was a perfect spring-day to work outside… quite sunny, while also having a pleasant temperature for working in the garden.
This kind of friendships are scarce in the lives of many people and it is a sigh of the man Peter is that he has build such friendships. These friends are really generous to each other and enjoy working together. This are cherished friendships that after many years have become really solid and familiar.
Start of with a delicious apple nuts cake
The day starts of with a round of coffee in the holiday house, of course with a delicious peace of Peter’s famous apple-nuts-cake that Peter likes to share often. Very sweet, but wonderfully crispy and home made, and therefor special.
Here familiar and new friends can great each other, but shortly after that the impulse to start working arises. The plan has already been emailed by Peter and some friends have come with their own equipment like a serious chainsaw on petrol.
Help where it is needed
Peter has asked me to help hem with his computer and solve some problems, so my day is mainly sitting in the straw house, what is a bit pity since the weather is wonderful. Two dogs will keep me company (or the other way around).
Joyful dog friends
Roos, the young Tatra dog of Peter, is very enthusiastic en has great fun in jumping on me, whether that suits me or not. I like Roos. Of course now and again we go see what is happening outside and there are brakes in which we all regroup.
Computer-problems tend to be somewhat of a puzzle and filled with details, so in light of the chores the work is a bit tedious. Even the keyboard stops working and I had to go buy an new one (“they made him stronger, they made him better”). Luckily the work outside gets along nicely.
The dogs quite enjoy themselves
It’s a wonderfull day outside for the dogs Roos wants to play and entertains the other dog so they are enjoying themselves. The dogs can mostly be found near the humans, social beings they are.
Pruning, chopping, fertilizing
In no time the first willows are pruned, some trees are chopped to peaces, some friend start pruning the fruit trees and manure of Bess and Gwen is spread over the field. Everyone keep them-self busy and when someone takes a break that is fine too.
Serious pruning and lots of dragging
Like a picnic
A wonderful group of people Everyone is free to contribute, but everyone is relaxed too. When you are familiar with the tensions, envy and conflicts in companies, then it is a relief to experience how such a day can be, free and relaxed. It functions well, since there is lots of productivity and result.
I recall a dharma speech of the Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, in which he starts with talking about picnics.
Thay wonders why we do not live our lives like a picnic. Before and during a picnic you will do lots of activities, but at a picnic nothing of that a chore. At a picnic you are relaxed and enjoy whatever you do. Everyone contributes and has fun and there is no hurry.
What is the use of living a spiritual live is you are always in a hurry and always busy? We are always running, but can we rest too and live our life like life is a picnic? Where are we waiting for? These day is a wonderful example of such a picnic.Hans
One of the projects is changing part of the meadow in a playground for dogs. Peter figured that it can be nice for Rose and the guests’ dogs to have a space outside where they can run and play freely without fear that the dog will run away or end up on the street.
Safety and space, that is possible of course when you possess such a large estate. A wonderful plan of Peter and a fine example of how Peter approaches hospitality.
Fencing for the new dog meadow
Wonderful lunch outside
Other examples of hospitality enfold themselves during this friends day. Peter placed a few freshly baked breads on the lunch table and a large pan containing a cheese fondue. It is quite warm on the sun terrace, but it is an enjoyable moment so halfway the day.
Car is stuck? Friends to the rescue!
After that, everyone is back to their job. The first project for us all is shoving Peter’s car out of the mud. He pulled the trailer to the tree border with it, but the combination of a very heavy trailer loaded with tree trunks and the still wet grassland was no winning match.
But after some pushing by friends, the car is quickly released. Removing the trailer with heavy tree trunks will have to wait for a tractor that is more suitable for these terrains.
The remainder of the day will be a following of fencing, moving tree trunks, branches and other materials to their designated places, and the fertilization of grassland. And of course the celebration of community and friendships.
The trailer appears to be too heavily loaded.
Well deserved rest
At the end of the afternoon, some friends enjoy their well deserved free time on the sun terrace, while Peter prepares a delicious diner.
A fresh green salad, compared with Chinese Nasi and two spicy dishes (mackerel en spicy meatballs). A fitting and much appreciated end to a wonderful day
Then it is time to part again, maybe until next years spring. Something tells me however that these friends will want to meat again earlier than that. Peter’s Paradise is patient and will welcome them whenever they will return.