Reflections of Time – Looking back on 2011
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
~Alexander Graham Belllsh
Goodbye 2011, it’s been swell!
Today is the last day of the year, and for me it’s analogous to the ‘one door closing’ saying. However in general, I don’t like looking back. Equally, I don’t like looking forward. There is an obvious dichotomy to living in a linear time frame while trying to relax into the present moment. And yet, year after year, we say goodbye to the old, welcome the new and continue this process of change.
And this segment of time we call “2011″ is coming to end.
Our 2011 was filled with joys, tears, laughter, reflections and the wonderful little moments of silence that happen between those events. But as humans, we tend to look the things that surround the silence as what we value. But recognizing the dichotomy between activity and stillness can be our greatest gift. But this post is not about the silence, it’s about the adventures we’ve shared in 2011.
Regardless of how we’ve filled the time we call 2011, what makes those 365 days so special to me is that I am having those experiences with my son.
I am holding on to these precious moments through feelings of appreciation, as the literal time eludes me, like sand falling between the cracks of my fingers as I clench my fist tighter to hold onto the illusion. I see the evidence of time passing everywhere from the calendar on my computer, to news events, from the dates on overdue invoices, to the signs of aging deepening on my face.
But mostly I notice time passing when I look at my son.
His legs have grown lankier, his eyes brighter, his wit much sharper and his will, definitely his own. This once beautiful tiny and fragile baby I held pressed up against my chest so our hearts beats could form one thumping rhythm is now growing into a teenage boy. The days, weeks, months and years are flying by with unique worldly experiences which we both share. Today these experiences are my fountain of youth and undoubtedly one day will fold into Miro’s future foundation.
It’s a Wrap!
As this segment of time we qualify as ‘one year’ is ready to make its passage into the past, I take stock at the memories we’ve been offered. We hope you enjoy this year-end wrap up and as we reflect on some of the best (and worst) memories we’ve shared this year. Here’s some of the posts we’ve thought were significant in 2011.
Miro and I set out on a hike to visit the scores of giant wax palms, which tower over the coffee bushes. We had been told how beautiful the valley was, but nothing compared to actually seeing them for ourselves.With our rented rubber boots we set out to conquer the muddy trails, but we had no idea what actually was in store for us. This post actually has some wonderful videos to take you along with us.
Our experience in San Cipriano was one of the highlights of our travels in 2011. It’s definitely off the beaten track and borders the murky dark side if you go too deep, with the neighboring gold mining, electrified eco-activists and big business interested and corruption adding flavor. But that all settled into the background as our visit to the small village located at 200 meters above sea level on the Pacific nearby the port of Buenaventura. San Cipriano is disconnected from the rest of Colombia, San Cipriano probably has about 800 people and was nothing more than one dirt street filled with children of all ages dancing and playing soccer in the streets. The wooden shack homes line the street on both sides, and many friendly dogs make the neighborhood welcoming to the occasional tourist. That was us.
Miro’s first love drunken love ‘hostile hostel’ experience would qualify on the top of his ‘worst’ list. What happened? Well, good thing you asked. The inn -keeper was friendly enough, shared stories of her life mostly surrounding her daughter, who was living with her husband now in another part of the city. She really missed having her daughter in the hostel, which also served as her home. The inn -keeper also told us about her husband who drove trucks for a living and was out on the road much of the time. She was very interested in Miro and spent a lot of time asking him questions about his life…. Seems innocent enough? Read the rest here.
This is the most embarrassing moment of my travels. How could a wonderful day, a hike up the Los Nevados become my most embarrassing moment? One word: ‘Altitud-ies’, Now, I ask you to imagine what a bag of chips looks like. Now imagine what that bag of chips looks like when you are on an airplane. The bag somehow seems to have more air in it than it should physically be holding and with the slightest touch, it seems as if it’s going to pop. Well, that’s how I felt. Only this ‘air’ that was filling up my middle section was actually gas. In fact, I had such bad gas that it seemed every step I took, I needed to fart….
One of the highlights of our time in Peru has been visiting the cultural sites and learning about the ancient civilizations. One of those sites we visited was the Temples of the Sun and Moon. On site, a beautiful museum filled with Moche culture is located near the entrance of the Temple of the Moon.This site is located just east of a prominent, freestanding hill, the Cerro Blanco (White Mountain), and next to a small tributary of the Moche River. The complex sits about three miles inland, southeast of the modern city of Trujillo and is considered by many scholars to be the former capital of the Moche State…. be sure to read more about the Moche culture, our experience and see the wonderful photo essay of our visit.
Hands down, the highlight of our short time in Ecuador’s capital city of Quito, was our visit to Oswaldo Guayasamin’s: The Chapel Of Man Monument. His work was so profound and touched both Miro and my self we talked about the experience for weeks after. Prior to arriving in Ecuador, I had not experienced Guayasamin’s art, but from our first step in the nation’s capital, the importance of his work to the collective consciousness was clear, reminiscent of the role Joan Miro plays in Barcelona, Spain. Reproductions of Guayasamin’s art were everywhere, sucking me into the haunting images, eyes begging for justice, stories of human suffering being told as though the cheap reproduction posters that hung in every hostel and restaurant throughout the city were a cry for help.
Falling in love on the road. (Be careful for what you ask for.) Love. I wrote a post expressing my desire to fall in love. I questioned the longevity of relationships and challenged if love was valid if it was temporary. Relationships ARE temporary for the most part, even the long-term ones eventually come to an end. Even the ones that are long – long – long term, even the ones that end with death, do, indeed come to an end, therefore, they are temporary. However, what I described above about being single and living a traditional-stationary-life, also offers a state of temporary love expressed through relationships that from the most part, do come to an end. Only it feels different because in the traditional-stationary-life, one doesn’t have the perception of time constraints causing it not to feel temporary from the start. Interesting.
Is this love? But what happens when I meet a man, who in a matter of one glance, I wonder if he’s the one? My face becomes flush and I see in his eyes all possibilities even before I know his name. I am drawn to this man, and cannot deny how I feel when he walks into the room. I cannot deny the feelings I have when he looks at me, when he speaks to me and when we share time together chatting about our travels, sharing snippets of our lives.
And then it happened. I fell in love. And for 6 months, my life on the road changed. “What?” you ask. You are thinking, ”I didn’t read about that anywhere on your blog,”. I know. I haven’t written about it yet. But as I am writing this post, just before the end of 2011, I am mourning the end of this 6 month love affair, with a heavy heart. And I will write about it in 2012 after I have a little time to process, I promise.
Ah, Loving is the biggest life lesson, experienced while traveling, experienced with my son, experienced in 2011. Sigh.
Stay tuned for more, I promise.
“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
As always, we are sending you all much love & light as we put 2011 to rest. Out with the old and in with the new. The new represents all possibilities and all is possible. Together, let’s create magic in 2012 and stay tuned to our inspiration!
This Post is Part of the Best of Travel 2011 Series
You can find all of the rules here. Good luck and enjoy!!