Space vs enclosure


The debate started within me after my last visit to Scotland when one week I spent in the North with vast open spaces, wilderness mountains and the sea and the other week was spent in a tiny cottage in the woods. You can read about my experiences HERE. 
What I thought I preferred turned out to be something else and I was asked to consider other ways and it was a challenge.
Recently after spending a whole day in the woods and ‘overdosing’ on nature but not in a good way I was reminded of my experience in Scotland. It made me think further about spaces, my preferences and how things are changing for me as I continue on my healing and spiritual journey.

An idea of space in my personal history is a powerful one. I always felt I had no space of my own or had a claim on any space offered to me. I certainly didn’t know how to own a space and always had a preference for tiny spaces and small rooms even when bigger options were on offer. The feeling around it was modesty, but also not allowing myself to be worthy of the space almost on one hand and on the other perceiving it as something not needed or not knowing what to do with it. However, I always remember dreaming of palaces and castles, my unconscious desire for more space.
When my therapy shed was built my relationship with my own space again was challenged. I didn’t know what to do with myself in the space, how to own it and call it mine even though it was something built purposefully for myself and no one else. It took me on a journey of unraveling my relationship with space once again. It was a few months before I started to feel like I could occupy it and choose to do whatever I liked in it. The space is small again, however, and I was very specific about it being no bigger.
When on my trip to Scotland I already rejected an idea of me liking vast open spaces, oh no, I looked forward to a small cottage in the woods so much more than a much larger luxurious house amidst open spaces of Scottish highlands where you could see for miles around with no tree in sight just open space with the sea on the other side. To my surprise I loved it there and the cottage in the woods made me feel unwell, enclosed and quite simply depressed. Even despite the feelings, which, I knew were manifestation of something new within me, looking back at photos of me outside the cottage one could clearly see how I blended perfectly with the environment. On a photo I truly owned the place, an interesting observation of what a camera revealed and of course that made sense, as this was something I made familiar for so long only this time it didn’t feel like I belonged. I wanted more space, air and grow wings.
Now as I am rediscovering the space within me spaces on outside that call me are vast mountains and lakes and the allure of the forest is much diminished. I crave long walks in the open space, places I can see for miles and climb peaks where I can look down and be part of the enormity of the landscape. I am also developing a new connection with the sea that always has been huge and incomprehensible to my senses. I preferred tiny brooks in the woods or a river. I find myself wanting to be in the open, not hidden, I want to be in the light, in the sun and not in the darkness or hidden. It feels like a big shift in psychological and spiritual sense and this summer I am going to the Isle of Mull where once again I will be surrounded by spaces of mountains and waters. I want to continue my re-connection to Water and Air Elements and exploring beyond the familiar of Earth and Fire. I am also curious to see how my relationship with the forest continues and gets re-defined, perhaps. That’s what I love the most about my connection to nature, the land. It always reflects perfectly what goes on in my life physically, spiritually and emotionally and I couldn’t ask for a more perfect companion and teacher on this journey.

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