A stormy day in the Magic City…
One week from today Dan and I are headed out for a grand adventure- a trip to Belgium to attend the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest on the coast in Ostende. We will also spend a couple of days each in Bruges and in Brussels, and then half a day in Copenhagen on the way home. So much fascinating history in these cities, and I look forward to our cobblestone-walking exploration – and to sharing our experiences with you!
You’re leaving us?!? Ahhh, guilt.
Of course, traveling to Europe means leaving our house and our animals, and anyone who knows me well knows what that means for me; anxiety out the wazoo and my worry wart tendencies jumping to DEFCON Five. I am truly ridiculous. I clearly recognize that, but still the need to obsessively clean, pack, unpack, pack, go over checklists, make sure the animals have enough food to last until Christmas- and then there is preparing for being away from the office…well, you get the idea. All I can say is that my husband is a saint.
Shiva ‘helping’ me do some late spring cleaning.
Once I’m on the plane I embrace the experience, but getting out the door is never easy. Over the years I’ve finally found the routine that at least prevents me from pacing around until 2am the night before we leave; I, along with my treasured Rick Steves packing list, begin working on my suitcase a month before the trip. I know, I know- completely silly. However, it gives me time to plan meticulously, research, prepare the house- and myself. I need that space to feel in control of the situation and build the excitement I need to be able to walk out the door and away from the touchstone that is our home, and the animals that are my heart. My natural tendency is always hermit.
I have nothing to worry about- we have a dependable and wonderful house sitter and four neighbors ready to leap to assistance if any is needed- and another list of friends who would be here to help in a heartbeat. We will leave the animals and the house in the best shape possible, and I trust that everything will be in good hands. But still- there’s this:
Sophie’s suitcase look…gets me every time.
Here’s the thing, though; I want to travel more the older I get. I want to be brave and see new places, try new things- experience life in all of its beauty and messiness. I refuse to let anxiety and fear keep me prisoner in my home. Helen Keller had it right,
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”
Am Anniversary toast on the top deck.
And so, here is to home and security and routine…but here is also to adventure and faith and the unknown. I think I’ll choose both options in my life.