2015: Cows, California, Cafes and Chalupas

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Even if I didn’t write about them, I did have some lovely adventures and I love a sunset all over the world. Here’s 2015’s collection.

California for some calm and a birthday, Mexico for some chalupas and time with my cub, Michigan for a coney hot dog and some love, Cape Cod as a constant, rounding out the year with cafes in France, Costa Rican coffee and life in my cow town too.

Happy happy new year to all my loves.

2015: Cowtown, home again

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. ~Henry Van Dyke

Slushy, snowy, gun metal grey skies…. March is a tough month here in the Massachusetts Berkshires (just in case anyone thought I meant English Berkshires, alas, no). I don’t have much magic to share today. I loved my trip south to Tulum and Mexico. I ate my fill of fish tacos, topped off my Vitamin D in the sunshine and vacationed to the max.

March – the march to warmer weather has begun… the forecast today: snow. In like a LION, out like a cow, please!!

India 2012: Varanasi

DSC_3929India, the most beautiful, most terrible place I have ever been and I ended those weeks in Varanasi. It’s taken me two years to even stop for a moment and write about being there, of all the spiritual places I have been, the one I felt the most from my feet to the top of my head. As I pack my bags this week for Nepal, my mind has wandered back.

Maybe because there’s a hum to Varanasi, that can be heard and felt, a thrum of life, of death, overlapped on each other – drum of a heart, sometimes brand new and as ancient as time. One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities – all that swirling history of energy cannot disperse – it floats, it dances, it electrifies the air. That could explain the butterflies I saw everywhere that week – why so so many butterflies? Floating, dancing in the wind. India’s outstanding amount of humanity seems never seemed more present. I can see why people come to seek salvation at the end of their lives by dying on the shores of the Ganges, it just makes sense to me to want to be there at that moment, hopeful the next turn round will go well.

I went to to see the ghats, steps down to the Ganges by the dark of the chaotic night, by the light of a brand new dawn. What a juxtaposition. Life and Death, side by side.

IMGP0438By night, it was like being on drugs, absolutely overwhelming in it’s dimmed technicolor, endless beeping, shouting, the cows (always cows). Lepers, babies, beggars, shopkeepers, men, scooters, women, monkeys, pushcarts, giant vats of lentils, holy man, unholy people, bodies, widows, just everyone and everything, all in one tide of what looked like chaos but really flowing together like the holy river in front of us.IMGP0417

A race, on the bicycle rickshaw, through the crowd (please don’t get lost), down the slippery steps, to the boat, by the funeral pyres, stopping to listen to the evening service, off the boat (please don’t let me fall in), back through the crowd, find the rickshaw, get back to the electric light of the hotel, the hostel, the modern ordered world.

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And then by the light of a perfect morning. The streets almost empty and the way to the steps clear of crowds. Chants of early morning prayers. People coming to wash themselves clean and start another day over. Offerings made to relatives and family long since gone from the material earth. I thought of my father, of dear friends & family no longer here and I sent my marigolds and my flour & ghee to them – somewhere down the river, on another shore.

Nepal 2014: Passports, visas, adaptors… it’s almost time to go

I took a rain soaked, muddy hike today…. which ended right by this flaming tree. Fall has brought out her best colors this year.

Apparently, I cannot live and write at the same time. I think about this blog, the place I created to share my adventures and I greedily eat up all those stories in my own head – and oh they are delicious but it’s time to share.

In two weeks, heading out on the road again. Packing my hopes, my dreams and my last year of lessons in my bag, taking one of my dearest friends and leaving on a jet plane. I have my visa stamp in my passport, a brand new duffle bag, some hiking shoes that are still far too stiff and the mysterious three possible adaptors ready to go.

It’s Nepal or bust. The beautiful Himalayas await.

As I get my act together, let’s ponder these are things I never thought I’d hear out load: you need a passport picture for your trekking permit (TREKKING PERMIT? I trek, you trek, we trek? sure, okay, slightly unlikely for me to be a trekker, more of a stroller, clumsy tripper), are you climbing Everest? (seriously, if you met me, you’d know this kind of remark is true madness and people can be silly, please read up on the situation  and also thanks for thinking I have $95,000 to spare) and do you know how many leeches there are there (good news, already have had the pleasure of leech removal – both the actual and the metaphorical).

I am ready. Take my jumbled karma and set me free. It’s time to leave the cows for a lion of an adventure.

India 2012: Cows

Of course, I need to write about cows here. So many cows, every where I look, more cows. More like wild dogs, domesticated cows sitting in the middle of traffic. Here’s a photo series of the whole high way being stopped by a herd headed south.

I have done so much more today and yesterday, so much I am too tired to speak about it – ballooning, temple seeing, museum going, Bollywood movie watching, chai drinking – I swear it’s all happening… and it’s amazing.

India remains one of the most baffling yet beautiful places I have ever been. I’ll be thinking of this trip, long after my return. Until then, the COWS!!

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