When did you last put your hands in the earth? Or lie down on the grass and gaze at the sky?
When did you last sleep under the stars or wake with the sound of birdsong? If you’re lucky enough to experience these natural treats on a regular basis, you’ll know how nurturing they are for the soul. How they add to our general sense of well-being and simple delight in the world. But if you’ve been starved of them lately, it may be time to invest in some re-connection. Many people who live off grid, or in low impact developments, agree that some of their most impactful sensory experience of a low impact lifestyle has come from attending Festivals such as the Off Grid Festival in Exeter, Devon.
Off Grid is one of those ‘small is beautiful’ festivals – a family-friendly space to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings but also to engage brain and brawn in low impact learning. The Off Grid College offers workshops such as green woodworking, weaving, foraging, composting, permaculture, forest gardening, eco-building or bread-baking in a cob oven. If this sounds outside of your comfort zone, well, good! When we stretch ourselves, don’t we get that feel-good buzz of satisfaction which brings on a really restful night’s sleep? Joining in with activiites, whether it be yoga, meditation, ecstatic dance or just jigging with some great live music brings our body and senses to life and brings us to the end of the day feeling happy and fulfilled. What’s more, that healthy burger or vibrant, locally-sourced salad tastes all the better for it!
For Festival Organiser Roxy Piper, the Serenity Zone is where she most likes to spend her free time. The comprehensive range of natural therapists addresses achy backs and dodgy shoulders as well as deeper, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life type questions. Then again, if the Festival is simply about having some time out from a hectic schedule and slouching in a sweet little cafe all day, who could blame you?
Off Grid Festival is a taste of life as it could be and whether you learn a few things, meet some new friends, or get inspired to change something your life for the positive, the hard-working organisers will have done their job. Perhaps the planet with thanks us all too.