What a pivotal summer for us this has been. It is as if, after over 35 years, the work we do here continues to reach deeper into people’s lives and into their hearts. It is so rewarding watching people become more fluent in language, grow in confidence, make strong connections with each other and have profound insights. We both get great pleasure from seeing everyone relish the sense of community. This has been one of the most enduring features of Nab Cottage – the sheer joy people get from hanging out together here; talking in English, baking together in English, taking the canoe out together, sharing a dream over breakfast, walking the hills of the Lake District together, taking a bus to Ambleside and sitting by the lake, chatting late into the evening with a bottle of wine, the morning spiral groups, the sound of piano, laughter, of human connection. And this English conversation is happening from morning till night; practising pronunciation together, plays being rehearsed, films seen last night being reviewed…….
And we have been touched by examples of how this small international community at Nab Cottage, coming together to improve communication, develop better understanding of ourselves and each other, and bring more love into our relationships, has begun seeding other communities. Many people have returned to Nab Cottage this year; Nuria for her 9th time, Eeva for her 5th, Auli, Paula and Sergi for their 6th, and many people coming back for a second or third trip, even after many years. The strong connections people make here they carry into their communities at home. It feels like, in these strangely divided times, what we all desire deep down is to share what we can find in common.
One story that Mario shared with me in a tutorial this week is a great example. His story:
‘We’re a group of friends who meet every Saturday night in Naples to read poems, drink wine, listen to music, dance, enjoy moments of culture and fun, spread energies and grow as a community. It is open to friends, families, relatives, families, tourists, customers…….everyone is welcome and nobody is judged and can just be themselves. The first time I went was just a few days before I went to Nab Cottage in 2017. So, when I came back to Naples the experience in Nab Cottage encouraged me to return to the poetry evening, as Nab Cottage had given me the desire to become part of a community, to share strengths and weaknesses with other people, to learn and improve together.’