Friday, May 25, 2012

There's nothing like a garden

In the old days I used to do a sort of technological detox once a year. In other words, I would grab a handful of books and a few items of clothing and go spend a week or two at my cousins'. They live in a quiet place about 30km from the city centre, in a neighbourhood filled with two-story houses where there is very little do to in terms of entertainment (and that's being kind!). In their house there's no internet and, until very recently, no cable tv, just the 4 channels from the national grid. There I felt completely disconnected from the rest of the world. And that was the point of the whole exercise. Being (or rather feeling that I was) in the middle of nowhere I eventually started to take pleasure from simple things. The birds chirping. The afternoon breeze you could feel sitting on the porch. The quiet. The blissful naps after lunch. And the books, obviously. There I would read to my heart's content all day along, and it was - in a word - heaven.

Now the city girl that I am has moved to a ground floor flat in the suburbs that surround Birmingham. And now that the weather is finally picking up I feel that same serene peace envelop me. I open the windows and hear birds and see squirrels. I take great pleasure in taking my reading chair out in the garden and read in the cool mid-day shadow. I love looking at the little plants we've planted and noticing how much they've grown. And I'm at happy. I step into the garden and I'm happy. I breathe in and I think to myself that I am where I want to be. And what could beat that?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Winter's past, a new season begins

Things seem to be looking up again. I'd like to think that's all because I'm getting more and more accustomed to this country and to my new life, but I'm not really sure that I owe it all to my person. To begin with, the weather seems to be finally picking up, both in terms of brightness and warmth. Mind you, it's progressing in baby steps, slowly but ever more surely. Also, I finally have the tickets for my Summer vacation back in Portugal and that by itself has lifted my spirits to no end.

Then comes my bit. Getting more and more comfortable in the workplace and working more and more every month. Remembering most of my colleagues' names and starting to enjoy the time I spend with them. Driving more and more and starting to relax a bit. Being able to walk about town on autopilot. Feeling better about myself and my relationship. And most of all, feeling that (my personal) Winter is finally past me. The stupor that had me for a while is blessedly lifting and I'm feeling more and more like myself. A new season is before me.