The year was 2006 and the popular book, “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert was on every book shelf. But not mine. I resented her. When she went through her divorce, she spent a year abroad: Italy, India, and Indonesia. She had opportunities to work through her feelings, hurt, and anger. She received teachings from Gurus, Zen Masters and Yogic Sages.
During the same year I lost my father to cancer and my husband of 30 years divorced me because my faith had disintegrated. I wanted to crawl away. Any where. Just somewhere other than where I was. But I couldn’t. I had bills to pay, a job to report to and responsibilities that I could not walk away from. I remember thinking, ‘Well how nice for you. Your heart is broken and you get to receive this -what I believed to be- fabulous support and balm to your broken heart.’
At the same period in my life I was given, “Gift of the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh written in 1955. Anne writes this wonderful book as she stayed by herself at a Florida island cabin. Early in her book, she writes, ‘And then, some morning in the second week…” I had to put the book down. I wrote in the margin, ‘Never have I been able to do this-I have never been anywhere for two weeks for a break. How wonderful it would be, to go somewhere, stay for several weeks, and have time to rest, reflect, revive and restore.’
So the daily blog prompt has now given me permission to ‘study abroad’. It challenged me to select a place to spend one year. I am going to suppose in my fantasy, that all expenses are paid, that the experience will be a time warp so that I can return to my job without penalty of loss. I am dreaming that the year is for my own enjoyment, pleasure and restoration.
My god-what a challenge. I have never been anywhere for very long, and never gone far from the United States. What an assignment. Hence, I could not write this yesterday, I had to dream a little.
My Place- by the ocean side on a bluff. Not that I like to be in the ocean, but I love to hear and watch its soothing rhythmic crash to shore. It would need to be in a community, where I can walk to places of necessity such as the grocery. It would need a fully stocked kitchen, as I love to cook. It would need chairs on the beach to sip my morning coffee or to linger over my evening glass of wine. It would need a fabulous library where I could access many more adventures and insights from others. It would need a typewriter – or paper galore – so I could sort out my thoughts with writing. It would be grand if it was also conveniently situated by public transportation-such as trains-that could take me on one day journeys to broaden my explorations. There would not be a daily schedule to keep while on this year long experience. I could let my body sync with nature.
And I would have my beloved husband with me on this adventure. He is a comfort and encouragement in my life. He hugs my soul. As beautiful as my destiny place would be, it would be hollow if not shared with him. He may need his corner of our paradise to access internet to maintain he love of researching, but that is who he is. He loves to learn.
The final criteria for anyone who lives in my place of paradise is that all the inhabitants accept each other. We help if needed, but don’t interfere. Each is able to pursue their own interests. I would be hopeful that the potential combination of variety would not be a ‘melting pot’ where all are merged into one sameness-but it would create a beautiful mosaic piece of art that we could take home with us and keep as our survivor from this one year oasis.
“I close my eyes, then I drift away, into the magic night I softly say a silent prayer, like dreamers do, then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you.” Roy Orbison