Following a bizarre dream, my son and I and spent 6 months on the most beautiful island in the world, Santa Maria, Azores. Our time there was magical. And Strange. I met new friends, new family, new love. I was surrounded by nature, mountains, forests, and the ocean.. my kind of paradise. Leaving was very painful. I cried many tears.
When our plane descended into Fort Lauderdale, I looked out the window, my stomach was in knots. South Florida is so overdeveloped.. and flat.
We were greeted and “bear hugged” by our close friends, and while I was genuinely happy to see my friends, I struggled to speak. I struggled to smile. My mind kept asking me “What are you doing here?!?”
I was in a daze for several days. Exhausted, heartbroken, confused. My body was very tense. I kept waking up at 3am. My heart longed to go back to Santa Maria. All I wanted was to sit at the Cais (the Port), laugh with my cousin, hug my sweetheart, eat Sao Jorge cheese and Portuguese bread (with piri piri), and of course drink wine. Vinho Abafado being my favorite.
I felt the heaviness of depression begin to set in. I tried to mask my depression with smiles..but it was there. I had a friend from out-of-town come and visit, so right away, life in florida included good friends, dance parties, bon fires, music playing, song writing, bike rides, yoga , theatre, the ocean, and good food..But there was an emptiness. A deep longing for my Azorean life. Reminds me of Brigadoon.
And then, one day, I took a road trip, across the state to my sister’s house. I stopped at Myakka River State Park, (nature is the best therapy), and I went for a hike. I found the most beautiful oak tree, and felt compelled to sit under it, and meditate. Instantly, I knew I was healing. The voice of wisdom came to me, “This is your path. Live in the present moment. Live with gratitude. Trust, you are being guided.”
With a smile, I opened my eyes, and really looked at the beauty of my surroundings..I could feel it.
Florida is beautiful. The swamps, the ocean, the forests, the islands. And the weather in wintertime, is amazing!!!
There is a reason I am here. Teaching yoga, sharing Reiki, making music, working on my garden, and being an awesome mom (well, trying to be).
And, I am officiating a wedding ceremony in February.
I guess the reason I felt compelled to write today, is this–We have to remember to live! Life changes, situations change, we all go through both painful and wonderful experiences. Just Breathe. Wherever you are, You can find your center.
Every time I start to feel that longing for Santa Maria, I remind myself to live with gratitude. And then I ask my friend to take me sailing! HA!
Live. Love. And always be open to Adventure.. ~Yogini Tiff