A Beautiful Stranger

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I walked down the cobblestone paved path and turned left into a tiny alleyway. Walked towards the river and noticed less and less people around. In fact, all of a sudden the familiar city buzz and noise faded away in the distance. Instead, all I could hear were footsteps behind me. Although I wore headphones, steady, confident footsteps were all I could hear. I could sense his presence behind me. And indeed I was right. I turned around and saw him standing still with his backpack proudly perched on his back. I walked forward few more meters and turned back. He did the same. I refused to take notice of his intention to approach me. Instead, holding my breath I took the phone out of my pocket. I stared at it, like it is an alien object. I saw my reflection on its screen. My face had a happy glow and had a soft smile in the corner of my lips. My hand was trembling. I failed to consider this segment as something significant and instead of making an attempt to call someone for help, I slid my camera open and started taking photos of the century old stone bridge! I could not move. I felt frozen in time. I felt like I don’t have strength and that my feet are buried underneath the ground.

– ‘Would you do me a favour and look after my backpack for few minutes?’ – His voice was mellow and his accent was ever so sweet.
I nodded and continued taking photos of the bridge and the monumental buildings behind.

He was gone, but all was left to linger around was his blue backpack leaning on my feet. It had lots of fabric country flags attached onto its surface. I started pointing to those flags I can recognise: Spain, Canada, India, France, Holland, Croatia, Italy, Russia, China, Sweden, Brazil….And there were lots more, including many other unfamiliar to my eye. The fabric flags looked vibrant, bringing great interest by simply making such a stunning contrast with its simple blue backdrop. The energy and the events unfolding out of the bag were stronger then the wind on this chilly wintery afternoon. In that instant, I forgot where I was, as I got transported to a different places all at once.

– ‘Thank you for being my angel guardian!’ – that same voice brought me back to reality! ‘You might want to drink this before you get stone cold out here’! – without a hint of hesitation I took the cup and started drinking the warmth out of it. While I was consuming the syrupy beverage I was experiencing melting sensation inside. I felt wonderful! I felt inspired! I felt powerful without weightiness and limitations. Only when I gathered my senses I smiled at this beautiful stranger standing in front of me, thanked him and walked away!

Walking back to the office I tried to think of this encounter as a note to act upon, but I could not get anything right. I tried desperately to put all details in place but none of the pieces matched. His features got hazy, his body distant, his radiance blurry, and his backpack dispersed leaving all the fabric flags scattered around, tailing off in a beautiful, bursting with colour trail behind. After all, a warm drink and inspired heart is all I had left to remind me of an encounter that it wasn’t a dream after all…M

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Devine Colour Red

– ‘Pack your overnight bag as quickly as you can! I will be waiting for you in the car!’ – I was told as I entered the house leaving my office bag in the hall.

– ‘Fine, I won’t be long’ – I’ve wrapped my arms around his neck and gave him a kiss. Then smiling I run up the stairs to get ready. I used to be very stressed and agitated when on Fridays I will be thrown an order to get ready quickly! Then we would spent hours arguing and hardly ever enjoyed a weekend together. Something needed to change. It was down to our agreement to be more organised, and that’s when the unexpected short notices turn out to be a day in advance notices. We were both happy with this arrangement. But all of a sudden today, it came in a matter of minutes. Surprisingly, I did not react to it at all, as I felt tired and last thing on my mind was to argue!

The car was driving up and down the countryside, as we were watching the glorious colours of pre-sunset being vividly painted all over the sky in front of our own very eyes.

– It is so beautiful! – He said and kept his eyes fixed on the road ahead, while he tried not to be distracted by the pastel painting. I could not have agreed more to his comment, however as everything looked unfamiliar, and the landscape around looked nothing like I have ever seen before, I couldn’t but ask:

– ‘Where are we going by the way?’- as much as I needed an answer, any answer, he stayed silent!

The radio was playing ‘All my love’, surrounding us with gentle ever so soft instrumental notes. It downed on me that is Valentine’s day today! I looked across suspiciously and hoped that we are not one of those couples that celebrate this occasion while locked up in a hotel room admiring how efficient their waiting staff are! We have been together long enough for him to identify that I never liked to be part of the advertising extravaganza! He is well aware that I very much like seeing a sea of red colour in every shop window on the high street on the runner up to Valentine’s day! Maybe because it is all eye catchy and beautiful, but I don’t see the point of celebrating something so trivial as the ‘V’ day.

As we were driving up the hill I was thinking about the significance of this event! In my defence, every couple will have a different explanation on why they like celebrating it. I know that there are many different legends surrounding St Valentine’s, but by far more I like the legend that says that Saint Valentine or Saint Trifun, as he is known on the Balkans, was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims. The legend says that plants and flowers start to grow on this day. It has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences. Therefore, you must agree with me that raising a glass of vine juice will be more appropriate then spending a little fortune on a gift that in time will loose its value!

Buried deep in my thoughts haven’t realised when the car had stopped and my door got opened! Only when I stepped out of the car, I noticed that we have come to see his uncle who owns a vineyard out in the countryside, where vines are spreading across the rolling hills of silence! I have forgotten how much I liked spending time here in the middle of nowhere! Here, is where birds share happy twits, where sun selflessly is feeding each and every single grape with nectar, and where the cellar holds a delicately tasteful vintage vines with priceless tag indicating its year of harvest. This place is holding a secret to a century old recipe of making the drink of all gods and goddesses.

– ‘I know how great respect you have for St Trifun, so I could not but bring you at the right place in the right time to celebrate the work commencing in the vineyards. My uncle has prepared an overalls for us to wear, with wellies and secateurs and he can’t wait to be given hand with the work on the vines. If we are done by 8pm, we will have a warm and hearty dinner cooked over open fire to celebrate yet another year of successful yield to come! And as he promised, if we can drink as much as wine as we possibly can, then we can spend the whole weekend doing nothing but recovering and relaxing on the sunny veranda overlooking the hills in the distance.’

I could not hide my surprise! I was truly overwhelmed with what I’ve just heard! I wondered why nobody else had thought about this before! If only, everyone is like us, we could all have had a great reason to abandon Valentine’s celebrations and join St Trifun’s army of vine helpers. My face lit up. My body got warmer instantly and with a smile on my face I leaned closer to plant a kiss on his cheek. He smiled and kissed me back softly almost silently, as if favoured to preserve my thoughts forever. He then turned around, leaned slightly forward and allowed me to jump onto his back to be carried up to the chateau to greet the Man himself!…M

Blueprint of Love

I looked around and you were not there! My heart sunk! I suddenly thought of you while waiting for the lift in the lobby. When the lift arrived and the doors slid open, to my surprise we bumped into each other. I was going out and you were just coming in. You smiled at me. It looked like you were able to read my thoughts! I got so embarrassed and looked down. I must have blushed and you had seen me blushing! In that instant, I got pushed inside by people from behind me. I was so relieved when the lift doors closed behind me. I did not say anything, but neither did you. However, later that day, light-heartedly you asked me out! Scared, I declined your offer!

I sat in the dark and reflected upon our little random rendezvous that I never gave much meaning to in the past. Our little chats here and there that were always amusing, comical and sometimes I can’t deny they were pretty hilarious. I now remember how much fun we had dancing until the morning light, laughing and observing drunk people around! I have learned so much about the city and yourself due to your cycling expeditions and that evening when we discussed families! I felt so comfortable in your presence, maybe even too protected! I won’t forget the story about your break up and how you felt about it. Remember? I wholeheartedly gave you some tips on how to stay strong! Admittedly, I could not have waited for our next random get-together.

However, after the lift incident, everything got slightly too emotional! Shortly after, you invited me out again! Frightened, I declined it again! You tried calling. Suspiciously, I never picked up. You tried getting in touch, I never became available! As a matter of fact, I moved out and never saw you again!

Although I feel terrible leaving without a good bye, I still think of you. In reality, I think of you and your smile ever so often. As time goes by, have realised how much I miss you and our discussions on anything and everything! I miss that feeling of contentment, comfort and tenderness radiating from you. I never meant to go! However, the truth is I had, leaving behind an undiscovered possibility of happiness and much sought friendship. To this date, I have sent millions of silent prayers to you asking for forgiveness. And as part of the Devine gift of gratitude I have made a fond memorial, whenever accessed, my heart fills up with love and kindness…M

Toot-Toot! – II

I’ve stayed up all night, baking and decorating one extraordinary birthday cake! In all honesty, I thoroughly loved it and enjoyed every minute of it. With each part coming nicely together I was able to see his manifestation around! He is fond of trains, fascinated by stars and now that he has started learning the alphabet, letters were part of my design too. Colourful icing got cut into shapes of train with carriages, letters and stars, so that the final design was magnificent!

When the morning arrived, I got my biggest reward ever! Once he saw the cake, his little toddler’s face lit up and a giant smile revealed his excitement! With confidence he raised his hand up and said – ‘Toot-Toot!’ I might have not slept the whole night but his approval gave me tons of energy for the day ahead.

We got dressed in no time and we took the cake to his nursery, so that everyone can be part of our celebration! After joined singing of ‘Happy Birthday’, followed by blowing out birthday candles, we got surrounded by toddlers waiting to taste the toot-toot birthday cake. Eager to share it, I grabbed the first knife available and started cutting up the cake. At that very moment I was told that no children will try the cake at present, as slices will be given to their parents to decide if they want to give cake to their children to eat. I beg your pardon? Did I just heard this correctly? So, you are telling me after such a devotion and making sure that there are no nuts in this chocolate heaven, children are not allowed to taste it before the approval of their parents? Oh noooo! Truly unfair! Such a disaster!

I must have been so shocked that I could not remember when I had continued cutting the cake in the smallest slices possible. I heard a voice coming from behind me: – ‘That plastic knife is quite blunt! Use this one’. I looked over my shoulder and saw a gigantic, butcher’s knife next to my forearm. I do not know what made me more nervous: seeing my reflection on it or the size of the knife! Whichever way, it did not look right to me. Instantly, I decided to hand the cake over to the cook who brought the knife to me.
– ‘I don’t think I am doing a great job in cutting it anyhow. Please slice the cake and kindly share it with everyone around’.

I remember saying ‘Thank you’, followed by ‘Good Bye’ and clutching a ‘toot-toot’ slice in my hand, we left the nursery with joyful hearts. Pushing the ‘puky’ trike up the hill and smiling out loud whenever we raised our hands to say Toot-Toot! was a memorable moment to treasure forever!…M

Toot-Toot! – I

A Wonderful Second Birthday to One Exceptionally Beautiful Boy! Toot-Toot!…M

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Bitter Sweet Dreams

We all got sooo excited! A foreign cake shop has been opened in our neighbourhood. Wohooo! Cupcakes, brownies, caramel slices, muffins, pop cakes, famous apple pie, all that on our door step.

Phones are ringing, messages are flowing and emails are being sent, so that finally we all met at the city square and walked over the bridge to the old bazaar..

While walking, sweet words were coming out of our mouths. I was able to hear the boys in front sharing a recipe and the girls around me chatting about experiences gathered on the travels enriched by a delicious puddings and desserts. Everyone around me was eager to get to the place and the walking pace increased into a running. It did not take long to locate this cake shop as it is right next door to a well known to us, a vinary.

We sat on the decked veranda overlooking the old bazaar. Small wooden benches and tables neatly positioned on the veranda, were leaving very much a feel of a comfortable and cozy place to be. Surprisingly there was no music to link the place. A smiley chap approached our group, welcoming us broadly to the newly opened cake shop. Surprisingly there was not a menu. Instead one by one were asked to go inside and choose from the selection of cakes on offer. This place was hiding more surprises for us. There were only five types of small cakes to choose from. By the time I got the turn to choose, there were no cakes left on the plates in the fridge. Surprisingly I could see the emptiness, I could see the void between a cake and no cake. Is this a reality, is this a childish game or is it just a life lesson teaching simple disappointment? A cake shop with no cakes?

A cake shop with no cakes to buy, with no cakes to share, with no cakes to see at all? Isnt this the same as going to a tea house, but no tea available to drink? Or to a wine tasting evening but no wines to sample?

Was I having a great expectation about being able to taste something different in my home land or was it just a hope to see the world shrinking on my dessert plate? Whichever way, that gave the impression that disappointment was greatly bigger than any other feeling at this moment. It came as a wave and affected everyone within the group. Those who had a slice kindly offered to share with the rest. We got to taste them and that as far as it went. For those visiting after us, a cake shop with no cakes was more real then ever before…M

Flying a Kite

Since the death of her husband, she has lived on her own in the house on the hill. For years now, living with no one by her side, she got used to the silence. The silence which she shared with the sun lurking through the windows, casting its shadows over her living space. She also got used to the wind blowing stubbornly on a calm autumn evening, bringing freshness and positivity.

Each and every morning she waited anxiously for the black bird with yellow peak to tap on her kitchen window in anticipation to get fed. She felt obliged to share a stale piece of bread with this visitor, crumbling it into numerous small fragments, and leaving them on the window sill, as a gesture of goodwill. However, in return, while having her afternoon snack, she was performed the most beautiful melody of all.

‘It is amazing how a human being is able to adopt to the circumstances’, she thought and as she smiled to her own destiny, she habitually strolled down to the kitchen, put the kettle on and waited for the water to boil. Today, she seamed fully engaged with the noise and the bubles being made inside the kettle. She poured the steaming hot water over the tea leaves and covered the mug to allow some time for the tea to brew. Then she prepared two pieces of toast with peanut butter and jam and with loaded tray left the house to sit on the porch overlooking the back garden. It was at this time of the day when her little friend was performing the best pieces of music and for nothing in this world she liked to miss that magical performance.

Enchanted by it’s performance, she decided to stay surrounded by her own thoughts, playing with her own breath, breathing fresh energy in and letting go off any stale thoughts and emotions. With closed eyes, she continued exercising her sences, sensually feeling the sun rays warming up her skin, the breeze going through her hair, and the rich sound from the wind chimes somewhere in the distance. No other thoughts were occupying her attention rather than intense emotions still flowing from the past. She flicked her hair and opened her eyes as if to erase them all. She had desire to avoid any connection with her disturbing past, so she fully enagaged her taste buds with the freshly made peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

Suddenly, tears poured down her cheeks, a fur ball got stuck in her throat and the taste of her past stayed in her mouth. She remembered that this type of sandwiches were her husband’s favourites and how they were lovingly sharing them while camping up and down the country. She poured some milk in the mug and as the milk lighten up the colour of the liquid, her thoughts brighten up too. She let her tears dry out on her eyelashes and her cheeks, as she couldn’t care less to wipe them off. Instead, with a silver pin set with gems, put her hair up, and her pashmina scarf around her shoulders and went down the path to the garden shed. The wooden shed was tucked behind some mature bushes, underneath the old oak tree. Moments later, holding something in her hands, she continued down the path to the cliff, where the south wind was busy playing with the loose leaves, giving them one last breath of life, swirling them up in the air, creating small vortex of organic matter.

The sunset in the distance was indicating end of yet another beautiful autumn day. The copper colour prevailed over the horizon, giving mystical glow to the objects around.

– What is it about sunsets that makes me sad and happy in the same time? – Thought the woman while untangling the strings of the kite.

Without any hesitation she stood right on the edge of the cliff. Her long, heavy, flowery skirt covering her shoes was lightly dragging it’s weight on the ground, swiping leaves as she moved swiftly.

Her arms were lifted up in the air. Her hands were strongly and skilfully holding the strings to control the flight path of the kite. She was edging closer and closer until she was able to see the void, the thin line between the water and the rocks. The water was splashing against the rocks dispersing its droplets over them like a mist, methodically killing their thirst and curiosity. She looked down for a second, and saw her husband’s body lying over the rocks, his cheeks were still blushed, his lips stretched into a soft smile, his face radiating happiness and contentment. This is how she remembers him, and how he really was; full of life, optimistic, creative and loving person.

Every evening she was coming at this very spot to fly the kite in a memory of her husbands life. She knew that by adding motion, she will somehow make her husbands death more bearable. Weird circumstances on that tragic day contributed to her confusion and left her with questions that will never be answered.

She might have had intention to come every sunset to find new clues, any proof, or something, that might have happened many years ago, something that killed her husband’s passion for life. By flying the kite, she kept her husband alive. His passion never died, his soul remained present in that fine line between life and death. His heart was still attached to the kite and the kite itself was his own breath.

Some people, dear to us are no longer with us, they have departed this material world in search for the essence of more meaningful and fullfiling life. But the truth is they are still present and they still live through the hearts and souls of their loved ones.

Let’s remember the souls of the loved ones, who are responsible for our own existence, responsible for who we are today, our identity, our actions and our achievements. Let just take some time to remember them all, let us pray for their souls wherever they might be at this current moment. Let us express our sincere gratitude and let us send a message of love, reminding them of our promise to keep their candle burning as long as we are able to keep ours alive….M

New Beginning

He used to sit across the street, right across one bent and out of shape wooden door. He constantly kept staring at it. He looked like completely hypnotised person, as he kept staring at the door day and night. He gave an impression that was expecting someone to make an entry. At any time, someone to come out from his past and share his present, someone to dilute his sadness and loneliness.

On the outside though, there was a constant flow of people passing by, some were even stepping on or over his torn robes and yet nobody apologised or made contact with him. He stayed absolutely ignored.

I was intrigued to stand behind him just to see if at all he will move or even walk away. I desperately tried to understand why he sits here, motionless and breathless. I also wanted to know the connection between him and these doors, which once were straight, and beautiful. I wish i was able to understand what was so mystical about this place.

One morning, I gathered my courage and tapped on his shoulder. He did not seem to be disturbed, neither distructed by my voice. My curiosity was stronger then my pride. Without any reservation, I asked:

– What is it so special about these doors that make you spend your days staring at them?

Surprisingly, he did not move, neither he showed any interest to look into my eyes. He kept staring in front.

Eventually, as I was leaving, I heard him saying:

…A warped door. Some exits have no knob on the other side: move on and don’t go back: it’s futile: all you will find there is splinters…

In time, we all learn that life is complex network of paths, which in no doubt can be challenging, especially at a time when we are most sure of ourselves. Even as if we concously try to avoid, we become trapped in our awkward old ways of thinking. Slowly, we become weaker and on the verge of giving up, forgiving…then something comes our way…like a thunder lightning that strikes without mercy:

…”A warped door. Some exits have no knob on the other side: move on and don’t go back: it’s futile: all you will find there is splinters”…

Credits to Kirby. It came when most needed…M

Divine Flow

A beautiful autumn day. Few weeks after my birthday, and surprisingly October is still showing its smiles. Still generous with its sunshine and warmth, brings enjoyment to spend time outdoors, admiring nature’s stunning display of colours.

‘I will go for yet another endless walk in the forest’, I thought. I dressed up lightly, put my walking boots on and head to the woods with great motivation to explore and share this wonderful time with nature.

Yes, nature and me, ever lasting friendship of two energies interweaven in two different shapes occupying the planet. I walked with great eager to rich the heart of the forest, being aware of no one around me. I somehow wanted to isolate myself from the external noise, from all these people, dogs and horses, which were painting the picture of today. I was not interested in any voices, no sounds were appealing, instead I got fully engaged with my movement, mindfully stepping forward, crashing the leaves underneath my steps. Although, my mind was focusing on the sound underneath my boots, my heart got fed through my eyes. My eyes were looking around and up, absorbing colours, forms and shades. I was firmly walking on earth, but I felt my heart growing happier, feeding with nectar from the air, lifting my soul high up in the skies, giving me ability to liberate from my physical body in order to experience lightness and spaciousness.

With this feeling of lightness and space, I walked across the meadow, greeted by the birds and their enchanting melodies. The ground turned into a soft mattress made of straw, flexibly accepting the weight of my feet and bouncing itself off without hesitation, leaving the ground intact. I looked behind me, and there was no evidence of my presence here, a thought passes through my head. There was no proof that I have walked miles to reach this open space surrounded by trees. I looked around and the view without people, dogs, cyclists, runners, cars, felt so comforting, so peaceful. I felt like I belong here, in this moment in time.

A question appeared from nowhere, asking where I am heading to? And another one followed. What’s my goal today? I shook my head as if to erase these questions. There is no map that I would like to follow today, there is no intention to do anything. Nothing is all I need today. I do not have a compass, gps, neither a mobile phone. I do not posses any strings of attachment to this planet. I am alone, pure, full of energy and peace. I am just a cosmic soul trapped in this physical body…. My endless wonders in the woods are my own time to get lost, to forget my reality and to recharge my solar plexus to feed all my nadis with divine flow. My mind becomes so insignificant here, and my ego is purely lost among these vast spaces.

I came to my favourite place. A young oak tree surrounded by bushes and few other trees dotted around. I hugged my favourite tree. My hands met at the other side of its trunk! It is energising to hug a tree, even to know that it can’t hug you back. But deep inside I know that it can sence my presense, can feel my love radiating from my heart. It can sence my need of comfort, protection and peace. This tree stays still like it does for hundreds of years. It’s roots firmly grounded in the earth, stretching its branches high above reaching towards the skies, enjoys the best of both worlds. I put my ear closer, gently touching its bark as if to hear its life energy flowing through its veins. I looked up and his almost bare branches started swaying from side to side. I recognised the decade old smile, I squeezed his trunk strongly in admiration and acceptance of this smile.

Each time when I am faced with challenges I go back to my special friend, who is bound to be growing at one place only. Who sits and waits patiently for change to arrive, more prepared then ever before to accept it and utterly enjoy it. Each spring it greets the arrival of the new buds. He nurtures them with earthly juices, lovingly protecting them until they develop into leaves. Then he sits back and enjoys their performance, their summers spectacular dance. He looks at his shadow casted on the ground underneath, proud of his appearance and confident of his existence. Then he observes their change of colours, so that eventually he can release one by one to slowly gravitate towards the ground. Eventually, each one of those leaves, become an integral part of the earth, feeding back its nutrients to nourish and support yet another precious new life. And the cycle of creation and destruction goes on and on, year after year.

Tears were drawn to my eyes. Sad thought overwhelmed my being. While its leaves will appear next spring, more beautiful then ever before, my youth will never come back, it can never be re-lived. With each new experience we grow stronger, and indeed we grow older. Each spring we face new challenges, more complex then ever before. Our bodies go through changes, constantly evolving, we grow spiritually, mindfully stepping forward, becoming wiser and stronger.

We meet people, we share similar aspirations, we share time together, we fall in love and eventually we get hurt. We learn from this painful experience, we step back until we recover and when we feel ready we reach out and we find someone or something as another source of inspiration, and the cycle goes on and on, year after year. All this has been made possible because we are humans, we have emotions and would love to share our time on Earth with someone special….with endless curiousity of what life will bring to us next….M