What an absolute luxury to wake up to sunshine! It meant that my alarm had not gone off at the usual 05:00 and that I didn’t have to head out the door in darkness. On the contrary. There was sunlight streaming through the curtains, and when I opened the balcony door to let the fresh air in, my lungs were filled with the heady scent of jasmine growing in the planters. I may have left my orange blossoms behind but I have fallen straight into the embrace of jasmine which means so much to me (see links at the bottom of the blog). Not a bad change if you ask me, not bad at all.
I made my way to the kitchen, which I love more and more the longer I stay here. I’ve met some of my other flatmates in the meantime and it is always so interesting to meet new people who have made their way to Portugal for such varied reasons. For the first time in seven weeks I cooked breakfast again and treated myself to a vegetable and cheese omelette. My goodness it felt like a feast! It was a simple meal, no frills but definitely all thrills. I felt incredibly grateful and blessed, not just for the food, but the freedom to cook for myself again, something comforting, nourishing and empowering.
The best part of breakfast? Having coffee in a real mug! I know this will raise a few eyebrows and you might wonder how the hell have I been getting by these past weeks? A plastic cup and instant coffee, that’s how. It pains me to even write about it, but yes, that is how the cookie crumbled. But now I have access to a French Press, and proper mugs! so I savored every single sip this morning while enjoying the gorgeous weather. Five star hotels be damned! This is the ultimate luxury, to do it all tranquilamente (calmly).
After breakfast I ran two loads of laundry and felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland. After washing my clothes by hand all this time since I arrived, it was a thrill to throw the clothes into the washing machine again! The point of all these details? Gratitude and mindfulness! It is the simple pleasures that elevate our ordinary existence to extraordinary lives. Who knew that I would be so thankful to cook an omelette again, or run a load of laundry. When you lose access to all these, your world becomes a bit more draining that you want it to be. Frugality will drive anyone to madness unless you know how to embrace it with serenity and mindfulness. That is when you know you have grown.
Even if this stopover in Vila Franca is temporary (until the end of the month maybe), It is the absolute balm for my soul. It is Easter tomorrow, and my heart is ready to reaceive, for I have found peace.