My Wandering is Finite…My Journey is Endless

My Dad’s wife calls me a globe trekker.  But I don’t want to go everywhere.  And I needn’t return to some of the places I’ve been.  My countries of choice are a bit like my friends…I have selected the ones I like and I really don’t have time or energy for more.

It’s not that I can’t enjoy others, and I might not refuse them, but I am not seeking them either.  Different countries might seem intriguing and my life may take me on unexpected voyages, but my planning thoughts and recurring memories are usually of the same places.

Mexico has always been my favorite.  I love the color, the openhearted people and the simple life.  I know…there are bad things: poverty, violence and corruption.   And I’m up close and personal with the dirt, lack of sanitation and ignorance of local and global ecology.   But there is friendliness, inclusiveness and eagerness to learn in the small village where I live (one month a year).  The people are not afraid to show joy, grief, anger or sadness.  They live their days with their doors and lives open both by circumstance and by choice.  As soon as they are able to walk, the children run free within the confines of the neighborhood known to them.  Music fills the streets at all hours and is sometimes deafening.  The beaches are scarcely populated except on Sundays and holidays.  Then huge groups of friends and family move on to the sand and into the beach palapas with coolers, umbrellas and plastic bags filled with snacks and drinks.

Now Greece competes with Mexico in my heart.  If it weren’t so far away, it would probably be my new favorite.  It’s highly civilized after all.  They taught the rest of us how to live and promptly forgot bits of it.  We’ve forgotten some bits, too, like neighborhoods and valuing generational ties.  Maybe we never learned some important parts of it. We can’t compete with the architecture and art of the great eras of Greece. We don’t comprehend hospitality to strangers. We don’t know how to live with a little.  We don’t dance easily, laugh easily, or cry easily.  Maybe as a country we have forgotten our passion.

Italy knows passion.  Watch the arms of the people as they talk, and you will know that they care greatly about almost everything and everyone.  They may love or hate, but they care.

French people have that same passion but they are contained about it.  Theirs carries a self-assurance that sometimes comes off as arrogance but has a depth of feeling that is unashamed.

These are the countries of my heart and there is no half measure in my love for some of their villages.  And I know why I choose them. There is some simplicity and purity of life and lifestyle that draws me there.  They nurture me in the true journey which is within myself.


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