Last year I was in Warsaw for my birthday. My birthday treat was being taken to the doctor by my son-in-law because I had yet another northern hemisphere cold.

This year I celebrated differently: two days at the Joy of Being retreat at Bingie, a gift from my family. I pitched my tent close to the casuarinas and slept companioned by sea, wind, frogs and stars. The weekend expanded to timelessness with yoga, food, weaving and string-making, painting, walking, sharing stories and silence. I came back home reluctantly, wondering how I could be still, slow and silent in the dailyness of my life.