Headstand Evert

Upside Down.

A few months ago, my good friend Evert passed away.

On Sunday mornings, we would often go “plunging”. We started cold water plunging a few years ago (Wim Hof Method❄️), but then swam all year round.

We would always stand at the water’s edge, looking out over the lake. Admiring the beauty of nature. The kingfisher skims low over the water. A family of swans swims by. The cuckoo in the background. The waves or the smooth water with the glistening reflection of the sun.

Before we jumped into the deep end, we would go deep with a conversation. It happened naturally. About life, about spirituality and especially about BEING in the NOW. About how the wind and waves are a reflection of the unrest you can feel in your head. The more wind and waves, the more challenging it is to find peace and surrender in the cold water. A beautiful metaphor for how daily life can be sometimes.

While swimming, we would often stand meditatively up to our waists in the water on a sandbank for minutes at a time. Each doing our own thing. No agreement on how long. It comes as it comes and goes as it goes. Sometimes he would go swimming again sooner, sometimes I would. We followed our feelings. There was a special harmony without expectations. Just like nature is. A beautiful experience and life lesson.

Evert en Ralph
Evert and I (Ralph).

I had met Evert at yoga. Although only a few years ago, a special and deep friendship had quickly developed. He had even told his wife, shortly before he died, that he would like me to be one of the pallbearers at his funeral. It was a privilege to be able to fulfill this wish for him.

His favorite yoga pose was the headstand. Based on a photo of him, I made this #watercolor.

When a loved one passes away, it feels like the world is turned upside down for me. The connection and the memories remain and are still alive. It feels like we could be standing at the water’s edge again today… The head says “what was is no more”. That feels strange for a while. Getting used to seeing everything in a different perspective again. From above, below, from front or back, upright or upside down🙏

Ralph 🧡🙏