Good Morning, Dear Guides –
It’s set to be a mostly cloudy day today, where my wife and I are. Traveling yesterday, we skirted the edge of some thunderstorms and encountered some steady showers. Hopefully, today will be mostly dry, as we sight-see.
Here I sit, on a tiny deck with iron spiral staircases, listening to the din and clamor of construction and traffic of Montreal. We are here for the Montreal International Jazz Festival – a loving Christmas present from my wife.
Experiences – are what we wish to share, not stuff. Moments and memories. Even if, as we’ve learned, the memories don’t last forever.
We choose experiences, including travel, that take us beyond what we know and expect, into the Realm of the Unknown and Unexpected. Beginner’s Mind.
How do we navigate, communicate, and negotiate in a new land, in a different culture, with a different language?
We do our best, and we act with integrity, compassion, and kindness. Will that always work? Of course not.
But, what’s the alternative? To not go? To not explore? To not learn about others – our differences and similarities?
Or, to go, but act bullish, mighty, entitled, and condescending? As if ours is the only, right way to go on about the practice of living?
I want to immerse myself in more than what I know and who I am. I want to see and learn. There’s so much joy in this world. I believe that, and I love searching it out, discovering how a cup of coffee, a flower, a held door, or a stretch of sidewalk can contain and share one’s expression of Love.
The sky is brightening; the workers continue high above, on the new construction. Locals carry out their regular schedules; their weekday work days.
I often wonder about the sense I get of a place, when I’m visiting it – when I bring my own state of relaxation, no agenda, and no work day. Is it real, or just a fantasy of my travel and vacation, the experience I have?
My hope is to bring alive my traveler’s spirit within me – to see the world anew, to take the time to celebrate moments of beauty and wonder, big and small – and to hold it open, even when I return to my more usual and ordinary life.
It is so much fun to have my spirit open to notice the wonders in my life. Birds and butterflies, or a weed persevering through a crack in the sidewalk, an ant carrying a crumb twice its size, or a grandfather and little granddaughter holding hands in the park.
Love and wonder everywhere.
Even time with my wife, in the car, is a test of kindness and understanding. Driving through storms into the traffic of the city; navigating new roads to a new destination; congestion and pedestrians and wrong turns; both of us tired, hungry, and stressed – it is challenging to be our best, most compassionate selves.
Yet, once we arrived, settled in, and found ourselves at a pub with dinner ordered, we shared and discussed, we apologized, and we forgave. We understand that there are moments of friction, particularly because of our close relationship and proximity to each other. Sometimes, it’s because we are in two different mental and emotional spaces while physically together; other times, like yesterday, it’s because we’re in similar states, but those states are calling for a little physical space. So, we negotiate and manage. And, forgive and move on.
Traveling is a challenging adventure, but one that I am grateful to be able and willing to do, and share!
Please consider this Prompt:
Where do you wish to go? Is there some place you dream of visiting? A place you’ve read about, or seen photographs of, and could feel yourself there?
Here’s my tip – Don’t wait!
Do it. Somehow, some way – make it happen. It will change your life!
So, Bonjour, My Loving Guides! Adventure awaits!