Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Slow down and enjoy more than the ruins of Italy

As I sit here and begin my blog all I hear is Erik Satie Gymnopédies 1. To be honest that is all I have heard in my head since I entered into Umbria about week ago. That musical piece and Umbria are a perfect match. Both slow and moving, rich and delicate, the notes linger in my brain as Umbria lingers on my palate. I realized something whilst here, I now understand that I am a country woman. For many years I fought the thought of loving the country, living in the country, always thinking that country folk were well, not to be rude, kinda slow. I know now that yes, they are slow, not in the insulting manner, no, actually they are slow in a positive way. As I walked through the countryside of Umbria and Tuscany, I noticed I was slow too; slow paced, slow to rush and slow to want to leave such beautiful surrounding. Italy has some of the most beautiful countrysides with some of the kindest people and the best food, oh the food...sigh...

I am back in Rome now, and well not to happy to return to the city. My heart and soul are comfortable in the country. I don't like the hustle and bustle of the city. The filth and non nonchalant behaviour of it's inhabitants. One would think coming to Rome would be one of best experiences of a lifetime, and perhaps if I hadn't become a country girl it might have been. Now don't get me wrong the ruins are amazing, but they are ruins. Artifacts that are left behind from our brutal past. The Colosseum known for it's many inhabitants that died there, for dare I say sport? It is a very contradictory place for me, Rome that is, as soon as I left the city proper I felt comfortable, I felt free, I felt slow....

I loved Umbria and Tuscany and all it brought out in me and all the joy it filled my soul with. As I sit here I can still smell the fresh truffles wafting into my hotel room, I can here the ladies exchanges words about the bread they just purchased, I can taste the fresh olive oil I had on my freshly baked ciabitta with rosemary and a cup of cappuccino. I can still feel the love I have of the country side beating in my heart. I am proud to say I am a slow country woman, and I wouldn't want to be anything else...

Tomorrow I had back to Purumrend, Holland and spend the last weeks there.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Bohemian Rhapsody

"A forest thick with life and love, a time that stands still when nothing else does, eyes that seek the wood for the trees, and finds all the love there is in the thicket of Bohemian leaves."

I love the Bohemian forest and it surrounding villages. I have found true peace here.
Every time I come to Prague I fall just that much more in love with it. This time I fell head over heart. Just walking to the grocery store was like a romantic jaunt. I could feel the romance of the ages in the cobblestones as I wondered the alleys and lonely streets. I realized here that none of us are alone.
I sat one day and just existed in the moment, and in that moment I saw the exchange. I witnessed how though I do not know these people that passed me by, we shared a common thread, the breath. It was an amazing moment and I am so deeply grateful that I got to experience it here.

" A lone tree by the road a mother sees, lovely leaves reaching out to me. Clouds of hope drift above us, me, the tree, our moment to be. The tree reached high like a child for it's mother, a mother holding love in her heart as they stood together. The sky, played like an orchestra~ reds, represented the cellos, yellows, the soft violin, blues, the gentle flute, and the white of the clouds, they sang in angelic voices as they spread across the sky. Together, in that moment she feel in love again with all the reasons that she knew they were not alone."

Next stop Rome

Friday, August 5, 2011

Visiting a lesson learned over 2 years in Scotland whilst in The Czech Republic

What a way to open a blog, almost sounds like I don't like The Czech Republic. That is of course, not the case.
The thing about being in the moment, is being in the moment. I try to write my blog in the country or time, that I am in. Some how time got away from me, not that time really exists, but the concept of what it represents, got away from me. I learned something new about myself while I was in Scotland. I learned that if you truly are happy with who you are, no one can take that away, and no one can make you feel unhappy about yourself. I don't need validation to live, I don't need acceptance to accept who I am, and someone can not make my life worth living, more than I can. The beauty that is Scotland helped me see that. Last year when I began walking this path in earnest, I had heard of these concepts, but I didn't know if they were true. How would I know if I didn't try them, if I didn't practice them. Well, I read the practice on love and on the self. It explains how we are not improved by the people we amass in our lives, but by how we love ourselves. A real love.
This year I didn't get to sit with the flowers in the royal gardens, but I stayed in the town where Rob the Bruce is buried, I got to walk the grounds of an abbey where monks lived so many hundreds of years ago. There I understood what love was. There in the soil I felt how they lived and loved. It was an amazing experience.
Now, I am here. I love being here, and it wouldn't matter if the here where Prague or Corona, the best place to be is always here. The best love you can give is love for yourself.

Next stop Rome.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Paths are not always recognizable

When we walk from one place to another, there is a path that we knowingly use. Be it a sidewalk, a motorway, or just some path carved by such extended use. Paths, are our way of reaching our destinations. As a Buddhist I am learning to be mindful of the path I walk. To be in the moment and enjoy every single one. Of course, I am still learning and I don't always stay in my moment. While traveling through Brugges, I forgot which path I was on. I was trying to find the central station, and some how, well, got lost. How do you get lost, if you are always there? I remember that from last years venture in Ireland. I stopped once I thought I was lost, and took a moment to gather myself. I realized I wasn't in the present moment, I noticed that I had to look around and say to myself "Where are you?" Then like a light bulb coming on, I realized I was on the path of enlightenment. I was meant to find my way by being lost, meant to stop living in future moments and to be mindful of my surroundings. I found a path alright, a beautiful quiet street, no cars, no noise, just peace. I stood there in what I thought was a lost state, and I found my path again. I looked down upon the cobblestone streets and smiled. I said to myself, "here I am."
then with relative ease I found the station, and I found a store in which I purchased my new little camera. See in my haste I forgot my camera in Amsterdam and have been using my cell phone and my professional camera. Which is great, but I brought it with me for a purpose and it is not easy to carry my big boy. LOL

So, not only was I on the path the whole time, but I learned that at times when you can not see a path because it is not recognizable, if we stop and breathe and be in the moment, the path will be very clear.

Next stop Scotland.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A summer of growth

First stop Amsterdam~
Here I am, again, in Europe for the summer. I do so love coming here and experiencing all life has to offer. This time though, I brought my son with me. It is his first extended trip. I know at first he was scared, heck I was on my first extended trip. Yesterday we spent the day together, and he opened up to me. I won't go into details for obvious reasons, but needless to say, he is growing. At first he was afraid of being away from home, then he was just anxious, and now he is willing to grow and learn and expand his horizons.
I too find that I am growing as well. The way things look through someone else's eyes is always interesting,

I am grateful to be alive and even more so grateful to be growing this summer here, in Europe.
Next stop~ Belgium

Monday, June 20, 2011

Graduating in life to become HuMan

As you may, or may not know, I have a teenage son Jared is his name, actually I have a young man. He is graduating High School, and to say I am proud is an understatement. School it seems is a lesson not just in academia but also in every day living. How we deal with stress, new friends, old friends leaving, and new paths beginning. Jared, has worked so very hard at becoming a huMan. Yes, a huMan. We are all individuals and unique like everyone else, it takes a lot of change though to make us huMan.

So as my son begins a new path, yet again, I applaud him and will be there by his side to guide when asked and never interfere when given that side glance LOL. As his graduation gift he is getting to spend the summer abroad. More change, and change in cultures that he has no prior experience; and I know he will rise to the changes and be the huMan I am so proud to call my son.

Congratulations Jared, you are a star upon which I wished and it came true.