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…

Ripe For Change

If anyone is ripe for change that would be me. Not that my life has been boring in the last 50++ years, but I could definitely use a holiday and a change of pace. My soul needs re-charging, the kind that doesn’t come from sleeping or shutting the world out. In spite of the fact that I cut back on work (for health reasons), the extended weekends seem to be designated to catching up on everything else I neglected to do during the week. Bills and all sorts of obligations pile up on my desk, and this is the time…

The Seven Gifts of The Holy Spirit

Spirit of life Fill our emptiness with your fullnessSpirit of power Stir our hearts afreshSpirit of love Touch us, and through us, our neighbourSpirit of Creativity Enable and empower the gifts you have givenSpirit of Eternity Draw us ever deeper into your Kingdom(source: Faith and Worship) Pentecost is a Christian holiday that few understand, even fewer can explain, and difficult, if not impossible, to accept for non-believers. Although I am a woman of great faith and draw my inner strength from it, I have always struggled with Pentecost. This is where I envied my parents’ faith and their devotion to…

The Zen of Mud Wallowing

There is a saying I grew up with: el hombre propone y Dios dispone (man proposes, the Lord decides) and this seems to be a recurring theme in my life as of late. The weeks following Easter offer several long weekends to either travel or be visited. Since I don’t work on Fridays, this means an extra long weekend for me to write, catch up on some much needed sleep, or on the rare occasion, be hostess to out-of-town visitors. There used to be a time in my life when entertainment at home with lavish five-course dinners was a regular…

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…

Bossa Nova To Chase the Blues Away

The fusion of samba and jazz born in the 1960s that became known as the music genre Bossa Nova is something I found very soothing to study to while I was still in college, along with smooth jazz. Later on, once the travel bug bit me, I began associating Bossa Nova with warm, sultry tropical weather and places like Boracay, Koh Samui, Phuket, and even Goa. This particular genre calms me down, and in some inexplicable way, dispels the ghosts of homesickness. So even though I live in Germany, where Bossa Nova is not as popular as in Asia or…