Divine Country

Over, at the online community of Powers of Place, I received this beautful story via Raffi, an online friend. He speaks about Eiwor Backlund, who started a cafe in a rural area… Eiwor is in Sweden, and the cafe is called Divine Country. We might take some inspiration for the future for our own project, and make a ‘neighborhood that matters’.
Here is her story:
The story about Divine Country is that I wanted to go back and live in the 
area where I was born, in the countryside. And suddenly last spring there 
was a house for sale, an old store where I myself had been many times, 
buying food for my grandmother and my mother. I used to ride my bicycle
 there and I remember exactly where the shelf with the candies was. 
I had an idea of creating a meeting place where people could talk about what 
matters to them and also heal old wounds, get new ideas and create something 
together. One part in this was to have cooking classes and do handicraft 
like knitting and weaving and maybe some carpentry. The name came from
 somewhere out of the blue, can’t remember how, but I did get clues that I 
pulled together and there it was. The journalist who came to write about the
 opening in the local paper actually noted that the countryside was divine 
and that I had angels in my store and all around it. The house is at a
 crossroads and if you don’t turn your steering wheel when you drive by you
 will run into the front door. The garden behind the house is a sacred oasis
 (at least the feeling of it, it is more wild field than garden), even though 
there is some traffic here it is never disturbing. There are huge oak trees
 and a hedge around it and someone said that it is as if there was a bubble 
around the house and the garden to guard it from the outside world. He who 
said so is a mechanic and I never thought he would even feel such things but
 he said that when he was standing on the road he felt lost but when he was 
standing in the garden there was such a wonderful feeling of coming home,
 safe and secure. 

So I started on that path and to get people interested I also opened an 
American style gift store. But in a little while that gift store got in the
 way of the meeting place and I lost focus. In June I went back to the first
 idea again and opened a café over the summer. I also had what I call
 dialogue cafés or salons, during the Spring. I invited a person who talked
 about something interesting and we then discussed it over some nice food and
 coffee. There was not many people to start with but the last times in May we
 had about 15 participants which is as much as I can take in the store. I
 have now made a schedule for the Autumn, with a café every second or third
 week. People who come here get an introduction into some topic, most of them
 has to do with connection to your spirit, and then we talk. There is always 
something a little bit more luxurious to eat and of course coffee and tea. 

Many people have come during the summer to get the Autumn schedule so the 
interest is growing. I have also started to change the things in the store,
 there will still be a small part of the café filled with gifts, mostly
 angels and other things people use to connect to Spirit. I find that people 
are searching for spiritual growth and want guidance for how they can manage 
their lives in this time that seems so chaotic. 

By the way, a salon is what they had in France after dinner, when the men 
went for a smoke the women gathered for coffee in the salon. There they
 discussed things that were important to them, such as politics and childcare
 and the neighbours relationships. A salon requires an interesting topic,
 something nice to eat and drink and a mirror with a golden frame.

This entry was posted in Community, Storytelling. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Divine Country

  1. iyeshe says:

    Oh yes, Ria! I approve! I guess we’ll have to do the place up a bit first, though… 😀

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