Preparing to Fly 🏡

After the heat and sunny skies of Italy we have been treated to grey skies and rain in Holland. We dressed in traditional Dutch costumes and tasted cheese in the historic town of Volendam. Despite rain we visited the village of Marken and toured a wooden shoe “factory” where we saw traditional wooden shoes as well as many other styles including pink high heel wooden shoes. We listened to classical music in a stone arch passageway in Amsterdam- violins, accordion and trombone sounded like a full orchestra as notes of Handel’s Messiah soared around us. We admired Rembrandt’s Night Watch in the Rijk’s Museum then walked amid life size replicas of the characters of the painting at Rembrandt Plaza. Along with hundreds of others we rode bicycles along the city canals and through Vondel Park. After walking around for awhile we were thrilled we were able to find our bikes among thousands of others!
I have learned from travel that everywhere you go it becomes a part of you in some way – it is impossible to return the same person you were when you left😄

Hiking in the Dolomites

We started our via Ferrara tour in Valli del Pasubio. It was a gentle introduction to Ferrata but with temperatures continuing to be in the 30’s C we felt like we were hiking in a sauna. This Valley, as in many areas of the Dolomites, is full of reminders of the fighting that occurred between the Italians and Austrians during World War One. Each spring when the snow melts and the talus shifts, bones rise to the surface of the slopes. An Ossuary has been built to honour the remains of these unknown soldiers.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

20170608_181416(Sagrada Familia dominates Barcelona’s skyline)

Sagrada Familia is a Catholic basilica in Barcelona. Construction began in 1882. In 1883 Antoni Gaudi became involved and made it his life’s passion. It was only one quarter complete when he died in 1926. Construction of the basilica relies solely on donations. It is hoped construction will be complete in 2026 – one hundred years after Gaudi’s death.
Sagrada Familia is unlike any of the churches we have seen on our travels and seems to defy description. Eyes feast on a buffet of sights that soar, colours that shade dark to light as they rise to the heavens, facades that carve Christian messages in their towers. Astonish, amaze, admire – wow!DSC01370
(Gaudi’s tomb in a crypt beneath Sagrada Familia)
DSC01366(west facade)
DSC01346(east facade)

Salou, Spain

Salou has been a welcome break from the fast pace/high energy of the crowds when touring. We are enjoying sun and sand in this little town that welcomes families to its beaches. In the photos John is trying to point out that his glass contains only water, whereas in my photo I’m holding a pitcher of Sangria😄

Ebb and Flow

20170330_082931
Seven days ago I ran alongside the river
that has flowed through our city
before it was a city.

Water that never stands still,
passes people, cultures, politics, technology
without a second glance.

She keeps flowing a graceful flow
sometimes slow and lazy
sometimes turbid and raging,
always moving.

Two days ago I stepped away
from my workplace
after thirty-two years
of coming and going.
Thirty-two years with a wonderful dentist,
Dr Brian Sacks, who was by my side
through the ebb and flow
of my life.
Over the years a wonderful dentist, yes,
but a wonderful friend, too.

I have had the pleasure of working with great staff
and of course, the best patients ever!
I am grateful for the opportunity
to have shared many stories
with many people
and to have had the opportunity to have been taught
so much by my patients over the course of my career.

I will miss the conversations and laughter.
I will miss the security of knowing
“where I am supposed to be” every morning
but I look forward to this new phase of my life-
flowing beside water that never stands still.

Aren’t We All A Little Crazy At Times

tracks

Everything is set in motion.

Even if we wanted to

we can’t stop the train

hauling us into a future

we can’t know.

Comfort and security

habit and norm

blur scenes

fall to the wayside.

My heart skips a beat

out of rhythm

out of balance

missing

a sense of direction.

 

Louis Armstrong, Oh Yeah

rainbow-round

“The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people goin’ by
I see friends shaking hands saying, “How do you do”
They’re really saying “I love you.”
I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know;
And I think to myself, What a wonderful world;
Yes, I think to myself, What a wonderful world.
Oh yeah!”

Inspiration from Mary Oliver

Song of the Builders

On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –
 
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside
 
this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope
 
 
it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.
 
from Why I Wake Early (2004)