The Artistry of Sustainability

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Cascina Rodiani, Drezzo, Italy

We are so thoroughly entangled in the web of the world that we are blind to the unfolding world there before us.”  ~ John O’Donohue

INTRODUCTION by Gaye Abbott:

As a child – whether I was cuddled in the branches of a tree, dipping my hands into the water surrounding entwined cattails to explore the ever surprising embodiment of a frog in pollywog stages, or lying in a meadow mesmerized as a hawk glides upon invisible air currents – I was at one.

Never separate.  Always connected.  I was nature and she was me.

For me, this relationship has never changed.

Yet now we see and feel the crises our planet is in because of humans forgetting this basic interconnected wholeness.

Underneath the global crises we all face we are being asked to focus on ways of living, thinking, stewarding and taking action woven with nature’s wisdom.

It takes an embodied artistry to travel these natural pathways back home to union with the natural world, and solid intentions to live and travel with our values.

Green technology partnered with the natural world is one way we can return to once again embodying this interconnection – lost or forgotten by so many a very long time ago.

The unfolding artistry of nature stuns with its deeply interconnected communion – perhaps the greatest masterpiece of all – a constant reminder of our aliveness…and our mortality.

Recognizing that we are not only the guest of nature – we are inseparable from nature!

Samuel Crisigiovanni, Founder & CEO – Creative Environmental Organizer, Designer and Handyman; with his wife Mimma (50’s), adviser, muse and wife always ready to fight for ethical values; along with Ruth (70’s), energetic mother and multi-task helper who never stops, brought Cascina Rodiani from a vineyard into the green sanctuary it is today and becoming.

In the lake district of Northern Italy, near Switzerland and above Lake Como, on a hilltop overlooking the little town of Drezzo, surrounded by Spina Verde Regional Park, one can find the artistry of sustainability at the Eco-B&B – Cascina Rodiani (https://cascinarodiani.com/) who offer what they call Green Hospitality.

From the first moment of driving up the winding cobblestone road to the top of the hill where the 400 year old Cascina rests, peace and a touch of magic might possibly reach into your heart and immediately create spaciousness to simply be.

The abundance of the natural world embraces you as her guest.  You simply cannot ignore that connection, immediately asked by some unseen forces to simply surrender your feeling of separation.

The statement “We are guests of nature” on the home page of their website speaks to the deeper vision and mission of the owners and managers of the Cascina – Samuel, Mimma and Ruth.  Partnering the best of green sustainable technology with nature, and warm attentive Italian hosting sprinkled with beauty everywhere.

From the very first moments, you are welcomed into the family of the Cascina, who always place well being as a priority.

Cascina Rodiani

The attention to detail from breakfast served at a small table right outside your room on a sunny portico each morning; the tailored suggestions of how and where best to explore this stunning area and the means to get you there to include walking, electric bikes and/or electric cars; providing a picnic lunch for an outing; supplying a map of the multitude of trials for walking in the national park bordering the Cascina; surprises of  Italian homemade delights and a selection of organic wines; firing up the wood burning sauna;

….or simply allowing the privacy and space to drink in the gifts of sustainable artistry… enjoying deep sleep within the stone walls of a 400 year old building, each room furnished with recycled material and old furniture.

You may even experience a moment in time as I did, while lying by the natural lake. Trickle of water moving, wind rustling the giant bamboo, a cuckoo bird singing out, church bells chiming the hour from the valley below…..and the sound of your breath connected with it all.

Cascina Rodiani Sustainability

The artistry of sustainability at the Cascina includes thermal solar energy; a large biodynamic garden space and on going land stewardship; sustainable forestry; a green house where herbs & veggie starts dwell in the winter and lemon trees are protected;  water recycling using a phytodepuration system which is inclusive of 100% drinkable water efficiency; a natural lake; home grown olives and pressed olive oil; beekeeping and the resultant honey; composting and recycling; fresh eggs from the chickens…and always an awareness and devotion to living sustainably with natural resources.

Cascina Rodiani Lake & Sauna

Cascina Rodiani is only a 20 minute drive to Como resting beside beautiful Lake Como with stunning views of the Alps, lush gardens, open markets, cultural history and art, and travel up a hillside by tram to see the spectacular view from above..

Como Italy

Though enjoying the small excursions I did take while in this area, it was so incredibly restful to return to the Cascina and drop back into the peace and stillness there. Samuel, his wife Mimma and his mother Ruth have created an amazing restorative and sustainable sanctuary filled with “Wildly Free Elders” artistry.

It was difficult leaving Cascina Rodiani at the end of my stay there, though I know I always have an Italian “family” to come back to – and a resting place to restore in after a day walking in the Spina Verde Park, exploring small towns, or witnessing an area so rich with history, culture…..and beauty.

(Portions taken from the full blog post on Breathing Space: https://breathingspaces.net/2019/05/23/the-artistry-of-sustainability/ )

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