New Beginnings

29 Apr

Well, it’s official.  My year of being in Europe is coming to a close and it looks like I have the pleasure of extending my time here.  Why is it official you ask?  Well, my flight back to the United States was on Tuesday, April 23 and… I wasn’t on the flight.  The strangest things about it is that not getting on that flight was… quite natural.  I took note of it… the day the flight was supposed to leave.  I paid special attention to my intuition the days before in case, for some reason, for my highest good, my insight demanded that I get on that plane.  But it didn’t happen.  I called to officially cancel my flight the morning of my flight, shared the news with one of our visiting Canadians, and then ate my oatmeal for breakfast.

As this year of travel is coming to a close it seems as if it is also a time… of new beginnings.  New beginnings in the space of not knowing what is next.  New beginnings in the space of being in Europe… without a ticket back to the States.  It is new ground for me… and on that ground I am growing.  I can see, imagine and feel what is next… without a deadline.  That door of returning to the States is always open to me, and I will take it when I feel the time is right… but in the meantime… so many other doors are open to me as well that feel oh so rich and inviting.

As I have spent most of my year in the expansive world of the Seminar Haus and Germany, it is still a thrill to me to look at another country… France perhaps… and consider the possibility of being there.  I am  somewhat of an “unexpected traveler”… making the decision to come to Europe at the last-minute in the face of many life changes… and so I am not a traveler with a lush traveling bank account.  Therefore, I am patient.  I keep it simple.  And I do my best to enjoy the time and lessons where I am.  And when the time and situation is right, I will head to a new destination to enjoy the time, experiences and lessons there.

From my time in the country in Wettenbostel I have learned that I really can do simple quite well.  It is not too startling or an upset to my psyche to be surrounded by potato fields and to have the plans for the evening to be a stroll in the flowering fields.  I don’t mind my neighbors being trees… and ponies…and goats… and a few people…or walking outside and more than anything hearing and feeling the silence and fresh air surrounding me.

I am grateful for my spiritual practices that are cornerstones for me and my time in Wettenbostel at the Seminar Haus.  Nearly daily, and some days twice a day, I make a visit to the altar of my yoga mat… greeting her with my breath and my patience.  Allowing myself to move and feel and being restored in that way.  Lately I feel pulled to spend more time doing yoga and bathing in its healing and nurturing impact on my body, mind and spirit.

It is hard for me to believe, but there was a time when I didn’t do yoga.  A time when yoga was foreign to me.  Raised in the suburbs of the mid-western United States, yoga was not something that I considered for myself.  I had a friend in New Orleans who grew up in Vermont and had been doing yoga since she was 18.  She knew I had challenges in my life and had often suggested yoga for me…  She would have a hard week at work and talk about her Saturday morning yoga class as returning to the love… or getting the love.  But at the time I just didn’t get it.  It wasn’t until the wake of  getting off of the anti-depressant Paxil that I seriously considered yoga.  And one day I did it… I just took the leap and committed myself to yoga starting with a class one day a week.  It was the place I went to find myself… to begin to unleash my pain and sorrow and surrender to something greater than myself.  And here I am 8 years later, still worshiping her.

It is a quiet Sunday night in Wettenbostel.  The crazy birds are outside my window singing their relentless sweet songs.  We had guests this weekend celebrating a 40th birthday.  They “took over” the whole compound, even the kitchen, and so mostly the staff here found ourselves dismissed for the weekend.  We would retreat from time to time to our hosts home up the street and share a little dinner prepared in his kitchen and watch a movie.  But mostly, we took it easy and laid low, which felt like a welcome respite.

Today as the party was coming to a close, my host and the visiting Canadians prepared themselves to head to Amsterdam to join in the celebration of Queens Day.  With the spirit of the trip being to party hard,  I chose to stay behind and enjoy the wake of stillness left in the space of the weekend party diminishing and their departure.  My porch companion Dan, too is gone for a few days as well as my hostess traveling for the week at a seminar.  So it is me here… to delight in the juicy peace that I need from time to time.

Enjoying the time alone, I am grateful for the fullness of the experiences of this past year and for some reason, somewhat relaxed at the possibility of the future.  The tulips are blooming in the garden and as May nearly creeps in, it is just starting to look like spring.  I can begin to feel the warmth of the sun, warming my heart, as I look forward… to big and little changes ahead, some things coming to a close and the promise of new beginnings.

Photo from the flowering gardens of the Seminar Haus.

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