The history and current state Spain is of deep personal interest to me. Here is a blog post I recently read that touches on the sentiments of many Spaniards currently. How much do you know about Spain’s history and their current state, politically, culturally, and economically? What are your thoughts on their monarchy and government?
I am on another bus ride from Higuera la Real to Madrid. This must be the fourth time I’ve done this bus ride within this year and each time, the route and landscape seem different. It always makes me slightly double-take in my mind about whether or not I’m on the right bus. Yep…it’s the right one. Outside are green rolling fields of olive trees, springing up in rows from a ground carpeted with teeny tiny yellow wildflowers. They are my sunshine today since the sun is taking a reprieve behind the rainy grey clouds. I spot castles and cathedrals slightly farther out in the distance, atop hill summits and surrounded by little Spanish village homes topped with their endearing traditionally red Spanish-tiled roofs…marbled boulders and rocks are strewn throughout the ground, some clustered together like giant marbles tossed on the earth. Tomorrow I catch my flight returning to Denver. Continue reading
I was walking down my favorite little dirt road today in rural Spain, enjoying the beautiful countryside and my thoughts as my only companion. Well, occasionally the sheep in the fields alongside me would baa, reminding me that they were companions of sorts. And wonderful ones at that. Have you ever seen sheep up close? Continue reading
Not looking over the shoulder to the past
Not craning your neck to see far ahead
Looking around, observing, truly seeing
Being and taking all in, with all the senses…
A dirt road, slightly muddy, creamy brown
Laid out straight, heading into green hills
Ancient rock walls, grey-black-bluish tint
Tall grasses, wispy and brown, green fringe
Billowy clouds, white and slate-charcoal
Floating past olive trees, brown trunks
Green waxy leaves, adorned with black olives
Endearing white lambs, bleating and grazing
Nuzzling with parent sheep, bell collar clanging
Wide open eyes of kittens, perched and starring
Coats of patchwork colors, brown-black on white
Sun shine coming and going from behind clouds
The wind on my face with cold kisses…
Fully in the moment, present and feeling
Patient with oneself, patient with time
I’ve heard it say, patience is important
Because it makes us pay attention.
*This post inspired by a walk through rural Spain in the region of Extremadura – town of Higuera la Real. Enjoy more images of the walk by visiting the album: Afternoon Walk in Rural Spain
Have you ever had just one of those days?
Can you relate and know what I mean?
It’s like my body is fine, but my mind is fuzzy,
There’s a fog in my thoughts and heart.
No matter what I do, I don’t feel productive,
Instead, I feel hindered and frustrated on every front.
The littlest things start to irritate me,
Even just walking out on the street.
I mean, if people are going to stare,
Why don’t they at least smile?
When I have kids, remind me to teach them those manners.
And for God’s sake! I need an onion to make dinner,
But in Spain, no stores are open on Sundays.
Oh and what is that?
My rehearsal got changed to a different location,
Further away of course and now it’s starting to rain.
There goes lighting and thunder, which I love in a storm,
However I am not cozily in my apartment reading a book,
My emotions are in turmoil.
I’m moody, I’m tired, and I’m female…ahhh…that explains a lot…
I look back now on yesterday and I’m glad to see,
That there was still laughter, music and singing,
Hugs from friends and even gifts.
There was understanding and listening ears,
Patience and kind words, grace and authenticity.
I feel more okay now with having just one of those days.
Those days are just as important to teach and show us things,
That it’s good to laugh at myself and not take things so seriously,
That emotions are good and there to be felt and then let go of.
That gratitude and thankfulness is precious and powerful.
That I don’t always have to be happy and have it all together,
I need my bad days too.
The day will come to an end when I go to bed,
And I will wake up to a new day, a different day,
I can be grateful for the two.
I have known for a while that I like to travel. However, the depth to which I love traveling has surprised me. As I take a look inside myself, I discover that it’s an important part of my core-being. Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m pretty good at being still and sitting back and relaxing at home. Yet the feelings I get and what I experience when sitting on another train or bus or walking among a new town or city, energize me in a unique way. The excitement of the unknown and possible new friends that await are like an adrenaline rush I don’t want to come off of. And the present moments…they are so full of new images and sounds that it seems easy to be one hundred percent present in the moment…it captivates me with the sound of different languages that are foreign to me and spoken by strangers. By strangers I mean friends I have yet to make.
Over the past four months of traveling Italy and now Spain, I’ve consistently loved traveling more and more. I would usually revel in these feelings on every train, bus, and new friend’s vehicle that I was traveling in. No matter what stresses may naturally come with traveling, I found myself asking “Would I want to be anywhere else right now? Would I want to be where I was this time last year?” and no matter what was going on, my answer has been “NO”! I have loved being right where I am…traveling and in these foreign countries among new people. In some ways the people and the lifestyle and culture are different from mine and in many ways we’re similar. Just like I find it to be in my US home of Denver, Colorado as well.
One of the things I like about traveling must be how it keeps me on the move. I was in Higuera la Real, a very small rural village in the region of Extremadura, Spain, for a month and even during that time I traveled to three other areas…yet I felt I was not on the move enough. This past weekend I left that part of Spain, spent a few days in Madrid, and am now in Oviedo in the region of Asturias. For the month of August this is my home-base. I’ll do what I can to stay on the move with shorter trips to places throughout this beautiful mountainous region. At the same time, I’ll make a point to stay on the move within the town of Oviedo itself. It has a lot of history, even for my Spanish family and ancestry, and I know I won’t get bored.
I consider myself to be a person easily moved and touched. Music and the visual, especially when combined, can move me to tears and take me to float on cloud nine with idealistic visions. What seems to be the common trait among things and people who inspire me is that I don’t go looking for them…they come to. A quote, a video, or a message from a long-ago friend comes as a surprise and leaves me with the gift of inspiration. This week I was especially inspired by my sixteen year-old brother, Brendan.
In the past I’ve written about my favorite coffee pub, Rooster and Moon. This time though, I just want to write about experiencing coffee – good ‘ol delicious brain awakening coffee….hmmmm. I’ve come to believe that coffee is a type of art. I mean, why not? The taste is of course the first priority but it definitely enhances the experience when it’s done well, such as the gorgeous and delicious latte featured here from R&M. What if we used coffee images, like the one showing here, as inkblot tests? Can you imagine….you’re on a coffee date with someone and you lean over with your latte to ask “So, what do you see in my coffee inkblot?”. Could be very interesting…
Coffee and I go way back. My mother is from the Dominican Republic, home of some of the best coffee in the world in my opinion. And I would like to think that my opinion counts since I’ve been drinking coffee since the age of elementary school. Cafe con leche was my introduction to the coffee world. It’s Spanish for coffee with milk. What they don’t specify in the name is that it’s chock full of sugar as well. If you think that was not enough of a sugar high for kids, don’t worry…we also had it with frosted flakes for breakfast! Whew! Of course this dietary habit would take place when I was actually visiting the Dominican, not so much when I was in the US. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really enjoyed the Dominican coffee, Cafe Monte Alto from the Ramirez Coffee plantation in my mother’s hometown, Jarabacoa. Check it out and stop by for a visit if you’re ever in that beautiful part of the world.
According to Wikipedia, coffee is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world. Studies have shown that it has health benefits, such as antioxidants and the caffeine is not harmful as other forms of caffeine tend to be. It’s woven into multiple cultures as well, with significant meaning to people.
Think of how you enjoy coffee? Or if you don’t enjoy it for yourself, how do you see other’s enjoy the beverage? There’s a comfort to it that, as my Italian friends like to remind me, should be enjoyed sitting down and relaxing, versus in a to-go cup as you rush to work.
I hope you savor a lovely cup of coffee today and that you take the time to learn something new about yourself by looking into the inkblot of your coffee art.