Summer of Love

Funny, what we learn to live with, even accept and to some extent be blind to, until one day, we just can’t anymore.

This could have been the worst summer of my life. Turned out to be my best, proof that perspective changes everything.

Photo on 2011-12-10 at 17.02

Waiting for the party to start. Christmas 2011

I returned to my true family, my tribe, my posse, my peeps. My Toronto Writerhood. We are kindred, lovers of words, embracers of creativity. We nurture and encourage and champion each other. Back in my nest, I was reminded of beauty, strength and courage I’d long believed was lost. Back in my nest, I was found. From my nest, I flew to Europe, where I found even more.

Among the things I’d lost was a sense of self love, yet signs of love were everywhere I looked and everywhere I pointed my lens.

I found a million door knobs, courtyards, alleyways, DSC03814arches, windows, shots of espresso and goblets of wine. In short, I had a freaking blast!

I was surprised to one day find I’d fulfilled a life long dream: to sit at a cafe in Europe, sip espresso and watch the world go by.

DSC03435Romance lives, even when we travel alone. Romance is more than kisses in the moonlight, that first glance, a fleeting touch. Indeed, romance is (according to my online dictionary) ‘a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life’.

Mystery and excitement is what I found traveling by train across Europe. Every day was an adventure, every third day a new city, a new subway system, a new way to say good morning and a gazillion new photo opps.

DSC03777Everyday brought another chance to fall in love, and I did. With Vivaldi, Da Vinci, opera and church bells. With the lap of water under a Venetian bridge and patches of moss clinging to stone. With horse-drawn carriages and the clomp of hooves on cobblestone streets. With Moroccan mint tea served in an ornate silver teapot, and the cafe secreted amongst the ruins of a castle.

DSC03718Love, whether for self or for others, is respect, encouragement, belief in one’s dreams, and embracing the impossible, just because we can. Love is patient and kind, love only rejoices in the truth. (Adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

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Love is strolling hand-in-hand, love is sharing breakfast. Love is greeting each day with a healthy dose of positivity.
Or, as Jenny Hansen posted to my Facebook wall when I needed a boost,
‘Good morning. I love you. You’re beautiful. Nice butt.’
All adventures must come to an end, but it ain’t over till the heroine returns with the cup of elixir.

DSC04950Turns out a Flat White counts as elixir, especially when topped with a heart frothed with goodness.
So good to be in love with life, and so very good to be home.

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