Life at the Riad

This is Mali, our first pet ever!
These days we have been spending lots of time at the Riad. It is like a little world of its own. Life here revolves around the central garden which for us has served several functions, from hosting guests, to having lunch, to sharing tea, or as a play area. This makes sense since the garden is such an important feature of the Riad's internal environment. In fact the word Riad comes from the Arabian term for garden, "ryad." The Riad focuses inwards, designed this way to protect the privacy of family. Rather than having large windows to the outer world, it faces inward and overlooks the central garden. 

Being here makes me think about how the spaces we live in can shape and even dictate (for good or bad) the way our days are carried out and even our mental state. For instance, given that all the rooms and spaces in the riad open into the garden, as we move through the motions of the day we inevitably have to face or pass through it. We go about our business (homeschooling, doing chores, cooking) and migrate to different areas of the house walking through the open corridors that overlook the garden. This interaction with the space encourages an intermittent exposure to the garden and its fresh air, singing birds, the sound of palm trees brushing against the whitewashed walls. All of which is beneficial for our mental health and encourages reflection (or a brain refresher as Salo calls it).

This setup we have been living in confirms my belief that the spaces we live in can lead us to live happier, healthier and even more intellectually engaged lives. As you can imagine I have found it quite difficult to leave the house since we settled here, especially after all our recent travels. I am forever grateful for this amazing time we are spending here as a family.

1 comment:

  1. When I was little I dreamed about living in a house with an open courtyard in the middle, although I think it was the old monasteries that were the source of my inspiration.



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