I miss home. And by home, I mean where I grew up. Apart from a couple months in the fall I haven’t really lived there for five years. That was no problem at all. I have lived in the most extraordinary places during those past five years. I have loved every second of it. Living on my own suits me well. But I have to admit that I really enjoy coming home for a visit and not having to think about laundry or cooking for a little while. Last weekend I spent a bit of time at home again after a month or so. As soon as I stepped into the freshly painted kitchen, dinner was ready and I could just eat along.
A warm house. A cup of coffee. With complementary stroopwafel. I attach lots of value to those little moments of comfort and warmth. Don't even get me started about an extra hour of sleep or a new album from a very decent singer-songwriter. In these moments it's easy to be grateful, positive and happy.
Last week was a week with mixed feelings. Besides spending lots of time at work, it was also a week with goodbyes. In general I like goodbyes to be a bit of celebration. Because I always hope it's a 'see you again', if not here, then in heaven. Yet loss can also be very, very real and too definite. Especially when you haven't had a chance to say goodbye properly.
The question pops up in my head when I sit in sunshine at a trainstation. I still have half an hour before my next appointment. So I decide to sit down in the sun to soak in some vitamin D. With my eyes closed I hear a violin that starts to play. When I open my eyes I see an older man play about ten meters away from me. People rush by. From work, to work. From home, to home. Just a few people notice the man playing. While I watch him, that familiar question pops up: 'where are you from?'
It's storming. The wind is blowing like crazy in the chimney. I've been cold the whole day. I am tired too. It's dark now. But just before I got home, I saw a little crocus in our garden. Waiting for just a bit more sun in the storm. It's small little head in the wind. Hopeful that it will become spring soon. A tiny bit of hope.
That's what my day started with. Dare to fail. Next to a couple pressure moments in silence and a Psalm, I read a book with very short notes to get you thinking. There's 365 of them. I am reading them together with my blog. The main reason is not to confuse my brain too much by all those numbers. I admit, I read those little quotes and notes. Usually I forget what it said till the next day, but today it sort of stuck with me. Daring to fail. It's harder than I thought.
So if you live a house with women, that one topic is probably going to come up. Periods. The mornings you wake up with cramps, feeling nauseous and tired, are not our most favourite moments of the month. Sometimes I wonder why we still don't really talk about periods too much. Unless you have this level of comfort with someone, it isn't a topic you just bring up and it doesn't feel like a valid reason to stay home from work for a day. So ladies, and gentlemen, let's just be open and honest about those mood swings and cramps.
"You did a part of the Camino to Santiago de Compostella, right? What kind of pilgrimage would you want to walk in the future?" My answer is simple: "I would walk anywhere." Another friend joins the conversation. She tells that she met someone that also walked to Santiago, however she quit at some point. Just because she didn't want to keep going anymore. I wouldn't call her a quitter. She just made a different choice.
It's Sunday evening. I am watching Call the Midwife on BBC one. The intro of the series starts with an opening from diary of a midwife. "Chapter 1. Why did I even start this?" It's exactly the thought that I have been having during the past week. I wasn't feeling well, didn't have much energy and didn't really have any inspiration. But this weekend I also saw some special friends that I hadn't seen a long while. Most of them I hadn't seen since I started this blog, but quite a few of them have been following my stories to my surprise. Some asked me how I managed to keep it up. The answer came to me somewhere on the walk through the city. It takes practice. The practice of love and loyalty.