Dirt to Ponder Upon

No, I don’t mean political or entertainment dirt on celebrities. The sermon during mass the other day gave me something to think about, and that is what I have indeed been doing for a few days. Take a 50 EUR/ Pound/ Dollar/ Rupees / Bhat / Peso bill, in your hand, what do see? Exactly that, 50 of whatever currency you trade in. If it falls on the floor, does the value change? It may have just acquired more bacteria and some dirt, but no change in the basic vale. Someone comes along before you can pick it up and…

My Three Souls

Yesterday I introduced you to my three lifetime travel companions Courage, Curiosity, and Faith. When asked how to characterize them as travelers, this is the description I gave: Courage is a no-nonsense tall Asian woman in black leather pants, a pirate shirt with long flowing sleeves, bright red nail polish, high-heeled boots, sitting on a Harley. The mobile phone is attached snugly to the handles, the helmet is on securely, and the Giorgio Armani perfume is where the water bottle should be. My seat is right behind her and all I have to do is hang on for dear life….

Proof of Life

There are days I just want to prove to myself that I can grow things – whether it is from kitchen scraps or a greenhouse, there is always that nagging sensation that my grandmother is looking down sternly upon me and making sure I don’t kill the plant. Living in Germany is expensive in terms of filling your home with plants, so I live by what a friend advised many years ago: buy small and be patient. This attitude has also fostered my love for gardening, because it has encouraged me to try my hand at growing plants from seeds…

When Ironing Becomes Zen

Of all the house chores that I procrastinate the most, ironing tops the list. I have never liked it and was always happy to pass it on to someone else, like the dobhi in India. Oh how I miss the concept of dobhis here. It’s the one thing that spoils you rotten when you live in India – the luxury of handing over the clothes to the dobhi for the most pristine and impeccable ironing. Try as I might, my ironing will never come close to that of a dobhi’s, all the more reason to miss them.  Ironing is probably the one moment when all love for…

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…

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…