Join the author, Tirza Schaefer, on a magical journey travelling to the Eifel Mountains in Western Germany with her mother and two daughters, Tarjani and Tarini. After a ride in the car, the family find themselves in a magical garden in which stands the Pear Tree of Life. Walking through the garden, they find a magical house. They spend one week travelling through different time-space and vibrational dimensions. It begins with a conversation between mother, daughter and a cow and continues with many inner and outer adventures in an environment which is as magical and otherworldly, as it is celebrating the beauty of nature and encompassing the joys of experiencing the physical realm in a very in-joyable and spiritual way. From walking deep below the ground to viewing the world from a bird’s perspective, it incorporates all.
With a foreword by India Wilson.
The Book's Creation
This book happened by sheer accident if you believe in that sort of thing. We know, of course, that nothing is an accident, but I never set out to write a book when I wrote this. Then again, I was quite overcome with emotion when I fell in love with a wall and a magic tree.
It all started with my friends, (amongst them India Wilson who subsequently wrote the foreword to this book), who said they would miss me so much during my week’s holiday without an internet connection, and they wanted to hear all about it upon my return. Via Facebook. They live in English-speaking countries, namely the UK and the USA. And I am over here in Germany on dry land.
So I thought, no problem, little one-week trip into the German Eifel mountains with my mum and my two girls is not going to be this crazy adventure. We’ll make a group chat and that’s it, talk. Have a little chat, I write a bit, a couple of highlights like the girls going horse riding and so forth.
It was the first time I myself travelled to the house that belongs to my mum’s best friend and her husband. I was so innocently oblivious to what was going to expect me, what kind of experiences I would have and how magical it would all be!
Every single day was packed with wonder, excitement and the time and atmosphere for my children and me to bond more again. In daily life with long school hours, hobbies and play-dates with friends, all three at different times, naturally, you forget to take a breath and take time for quality interaction with your children, as a family. Tomorrow, you think. Next week, you said. And you find your little islands of love together sometimes, but it seems never quite enough.
That’s what holidays are for, to have so much time together, you could actually get bored, but you don’t, because it’s so awesome to just be and be together. Great conversations have sprung from this source of renewed vitality, of life force flowing once again.
At the end of the first day, I had fallen in love with a wall and had had a conversation with a cow already. I couldn’t remember all the details in a week’s time, surely, so I decided to take out my trusted old laptop and write the major points down, so I would not forget to tell my friends later on.
When I start writing, it is seldom that I look at the blank screen or page and have a block. When I travel, I have so many new impressions, it’s a total impossibility. And I had just discovered magic hidden in the mundane! I wrote, haha, and how I wrote! I relieved the conversation with the cow I had translated for my younger daughter Tarini. I delighted all over again in her giggles and disbelief, her wonder and awe.
Once again, I felt the wall under my hands, the roughly hewn stones feeling just as rough under the palm of my hands, and yet…so gentle, so old and wise. I don’t think, I will ever be able to forget this feeling. And it went on from there. Every single day, there was a new miracle, a new kind of magical atmosphere enchanting us, enveloping us, transporting us all into our own safe, imaginative space where everything, even the most unlikely, could perhaps be true. It was awesome.
Upon my return home and back in modern networks like WiFi, I sent my document to my friends, and upon reading, they urged me to make a book of it. Every new day was going to be a new chapter. That was in 2014 when I slowly developed the confidence that it could be possible to one day perhaps publish a book. And wouldn’t it be extra special to actually have two? Not only a poetry book but also a Magical Family Holiday book?
And again, something occurred that seemed like magic, but, as I know now, were only my own energies paving the way. In March of 2015, I published my poetry book and a day or two later, my Holiday book followed. And to me, it still seems like the most beautiful magic that had ever occurred. I had another book, filled with special moments and wondrous experiences, and it had happened as if by accident if you believe in that sort of thing. But we know better, don’t we?
We’ve driven from our hometown near Cologne where the River Rhine has inspired even the ancient Romans to settle two and a half hours to a small village in the Eifel mountains. It’s a relatively small and low mountain range, but it is sunny with lots of vine up the steep hills on either side of the much smaller River Mosel.
The village consists of about 50 houses, mostly Tudor cottages and houses, many streets laid out in cobblestones. To say, it is idyllic is an understatement. No matter into which courtyard you look, there are flowerpots, statues and benches, all decorated with so much love, it is practically oozing from every corner. This is a place where you let your soul rest, take a deep breath and feel the power of the present moment. Time stands still. Only the sweat is running in this heated afternoon. Every twenty minutes a car passes on the main road (which is about as wide as our little side alley in which we live at home).
Streets weren’t built for big cars and trucks here. There wasn’t any of that around in medieval times. Around the corner, two horses stand side by side, dozing. They don’t touch, but they stand close to each other, one facing right, the other left. You can feel their connection as you drive past slowly. The term twinflames comes to mind without conscious reflection. They feel like one unit, and not only because of the close proximity of their physical bodies. They are one and at peace.
The street, in which my mother’s friend’s house stands, winds up the hill. We park the car, walk along a hedge and suddenly, my mother disappears in it. I nearly walk past until I see an ancient rusty garden gate, the size of a door, nearly overgrown. So this is the garden. I find myself in a temple of fairies and elves. The magic hits you with such force that you have to draw in your breath. It is almost palpable. I think of my friend India in the UK and how she would love this!
Cat statues are more or less hidden, benches, three garden tables, two small, one large (the latter in an alcove near the front door. Yes, the front door leads into the garden. It is enchantment in its purest form. On both sides of the garden are houses, the main one, where we are staying and a smaller, which a friend has rented as a weekend retreat. On the far side of the garden is a high wall, as tall as the roof of the first storey. And to my surprise, the groundfloor ceiling is quite high.
As we walk into the house, we are transported into another time. I’m sure this door is a portal to at least two hundred years previously. To the left is the kitchen which leads back towards the front into a dining room. To the right are bathroom (including washing machine and dishwasher) and toilet, as well as a door behind which are the stairs leading to the basement. Some of the walls are plastered, but the outside one at the back is pure stone.
I’m in love with a wall! I run my hands over it, appreciating the warm, rough feel of the irregular pieces sticking out from old mortar. I can just about stop myself from kissing it. Somehow these stones feel like love.
Reviews for A Magical Family Holiday
Such a sweet narration of a family holiday!
I absolutely loved this very sweet and loving narration of the author's holiday with her mother and two daughters. There is a sprinkle of magic and some history in it, too, but it's mostly centered around the mother's relationship with her children, mother and the world around her on this magical trip.
The way the author describes her view of the world, the fun and the deep thoughts, as well as the parenting is so full of love. You can tell what a big heart she has and how creative and unconventional her worldview is, discovering magic in the mundane, whether it's a pear tree or a house wall or a cow. You have to read this little treasure! Highly recommend!
I absolutely loved this very sweet and loving narration of the author's holiday with her mother and two daughters. There is a sprinkle of magic and some history in it, too, but it's mostly centred around the mother's relationship with her children, her mother and the world around her on this magical trip.
The way the author describes her view of the world, the fun and the deep thoughts, as well as the parenting is so full of love. You can tell what a big heart she has and how creative and unconventional her worldview is, discovering magic in the mundane, whether it's a pear tree or a housewall or a cow. You have to read this little treasure! Highly recommend!
Tuari Eagleswing, Reader
* * *
This novel was very engaging, the writing style was so descriptive and absorbing. I NEEDED to find out what was going to happen. I think that's what a good writer does - makes you feel so deeply for the characters that it will just keep you turning pages until you have devoured the entire book. I know I did.