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Once upon a time, deep in the heart of the Welsh valleys lived a grumpy man named Rob, born to a family who were saddlers and leatherworkers for over a hundred years. In their family run shop “Ashes” Rob had spent all his life making others happy. The town folk of Abertillery visited the shop for generations to have their leather jackets, belts, bags, shoes repaired, you name it Rob can fix it. But then retirement came and knocked on his door.

Rob and his wife Zena left the Welsh valley, sold everything, took their cat and moved to the Spanish mountains to enjoy sun, nature and never ending siesta.

For a working person, retirement might seem like an easy relaxation in a sun. but Rob and Zena after renovating their Spanish finca surrounded by beautiful mountains and olive trees became bored.

When the life wheel had been spinning all those years, it was strange to stop it and look at the clouds passing by and do nothing. Happily, life is full of surprises and their son, who was travelling around, who-knows where, turned up with his girlfriend from the cold North, from a magical country which no-one really has ever heard of - Estonia.

They did expect the unexpected of their son, but the Estonian girl came with all kinds of weirdness and in no time at all, they built sauna with birch tree leaves to beat the body and brought rune stones, essential oils, no shoes, reiki, nettle smoothy and her shaman drum. What else could they do, but to embrace it! In no time, there were two poly tunnels full of growing plants, fairy tree in the garden, weird mandala mosaic in the backyard and fantasy fishpond in the making.

One day the Estonian fairy played her shaman drum and sang in a fairy language and Rob listened. The sound of the drum was velvety, low and deep, beating like Mother Nature’s heart beat, which echoed amongst the mountains. Afterwards Rob looked at the drum and a thought appeared from no-where.

“I could make that kind of leather work, I should give it a try”. And here the seed was planted.

The Fairy girl explained the knowledge she had received from an Estonian shaman about the drum. The most important was to create the drums with a present attention and initiate it with good wishes, four elements, symbols and songs. She also told that each drum has its name, which would be revealed to the owner while playing the drum, and it can’t be thought of, but need to come from heart.

So whistle while you work - Rob and son started to create the drums. Rob liked to give a new life to something which seems already lost. Looking at these skins, he saw the parallel between the retirement and shaman drums. It was finding a new life, and understanding that life is not ending, but starting - although it might have seemed quite weird to try all these new superfoods and organic smoothies, experiencing sauna ceremonies, having mayan astrology readings and shaman drum journeys - he had to admit, that in these new experiences there was life, a new life.

So he thought why not to share it with others, who might also find themselves in similar situation ,as he did and who were up to see that a new chapter in their life can start now.

With no time the whole family had drums and the fantasy garden was now also musical garden as the whole family was playing their drums, doing drum jamming nights sharing their inner heart beats with that powerful new tool. Zena asked how to play the drum or how she could learn it and fairy told her that first she needed to concentrate on her heart beat, then add the rhythm to the drumming and all that comes after ,that is already the perfect art of playing the shaman drum. The shaman drum is an extension to your heart. Shaman drum is to connect with ourselves, with the nature around us and with others around us.

And the grumpy old man slowly started to smile again.


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