Celebrate, not Define!

celebrate instead of define. One phrase stood out this morning during mass: We tend to waste far too much valuable time defining our roles, relationships, personalities, failures, achievements, goals instead of celebrating them. I stared at the Dominican priest as if he suddenly sprouted three purple dragon heads. Those three words hit me right where it needed to, as I have been in an emotional slump these past few days, battling some unwanted demons of my past. He was absolutely right – I have spent the last five decades listening to roles being defined for me, my life being defined…

It was another dark and stormy night…

I absolutely despise that opening line, but I kid you not this time. Last night, a massive thunderstorm ravaged Berlin and brought the airports to a standstill this morning. The weather service warned of another storm this evening, and in spite of the warning, everyone I commuted with on the underground and the bus this morning wore the lightest of clothes. I, on the other hand, looked like the overdressed duck showing up among the flock of flamingos with my rain jacket and umbrella. The old Girl Scout leader in me still follows the motto be prepared! So here I…

The Zen of Flies

Like everything else in life, living by the river has advantages and disadvantages. The gorgeous sunsets and serenity of the water are priceless, and I wouldn’t trade them in for any money in the world. The down side, however, is that you have to live with all the flies, bugs and creatures that come along with the water. The river fowl I adore, looking forward each morning the sound of the ducks and coots in the water, even the occasional chatty swan or goose. The flies, horse flies and bow flies, however, are difficult to accept. Each year I promise…

Make Me Climb Stairs, Will Grumble

That is my mantra of the day, and has been since last week. Ask anyone who has travelled with me at any point in my life and they will confirm that I absolutely detest climbing stairs with a passion. It is not that I am lazy, but I am traumatised from my childhood of having had to climb pyramids and being frightened to death of coming down without anything to hold on to. I can walk 30km a day through any terrain without grumbling, like I did so during the Camino in Spain, but don’t make me climb stairs! In…

Rescued: Netty Sparrow (Part III)

A free bird leapson the back of the wind   and floats downstream   till the current endsand dips his wingin the orange sun raysand dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalksdown his narrow cagecan seldom see throughhis bars of ragehis wings are clipped and   his feet are tiedso he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings   with a fearful trill   of things unknown   but longed for still   and his tune is heard   on the distant hill   for the caged bird   sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breezeand the trade winds soft through the sighing treesand the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright…

Sereni-Tree

This is definitely the first time I am blogging from under a tree. My previous appointment ended early and I am way too early for the next one. The weather is too gorgeous to be wasted by spending it indoors and I have no inclination to wander around shops. This is what I love about Berlin, no matter what part of the city you are in, there is always a park nearby where you can stretch out and find your peace and quiet – that is, if. you manage to extricate yourself from the ice cream shops and outdoor cafes….

Conversations with Buddha: 84,000 ways to suffer

As I sat at my desk this morning, hands wrapped around a deliciously strong cup of coffee, I stared in horror at the calendar. Friday. What?! I blinked on Monday morning and suddenly it is Friday already? Geez. Is it the ageing process that suddenly makes time pass faster? Let me rewind a bit and go back to last Sunday because it meant a lot to me. As I sat at my desk this morning, hands wrapped around a deliciously strong cup of coffee, I stared in horror at the calendar. Friday. What?! I blinked on Monday morning and suddenly…