Going back home

Although I had not planned it when I left, my trip brought me back home, back to Romania. Half-way through my journey, I gave myself the time and space to see my family again, to re-meet my friends, to come back to my hometown. And to taste all of it as part of my trip around the world, and to live all of it as part of this craziness that I let myself live. And it felt good, really good!

Out of all the places I went back here, there is one place, deeply rooted into my heart: my grandparents’ house – breathing the calmness of nature and the wisdom of generations, always welcoming me with love and opened arms, still having somewhere on a wall a photo of me and my brother as children. Tempted by the splendid autumn sun this morning, I visited my grandparents again, with my father, for a last, long and smiling goodbye.

May God keep you safe and strong until we see each other again! Until then, I’ll write you about Thailand!

Bits of Afroz – saying goodbye

Time has come for me to leave Afroz, to leave the island of Lesbos – my summer home, the place where I worked, the place where I had my holidays, the place where I re-met dear friends and where I met some new wonderful people, the place where I loved, and laughed, and cried, the place where I’ve been truly happy – for no reason at all, a place of understanding others and understanding myself. A place which left in my heart a mark, a distinctive trace, as if it were a person. Because, for me, Afroz it is not just the sum of all the people that live in it, or the enumeration of all its buildings, or a list of all the events that took place there over the summer. It is more than that – it feels like it is a living being, a living entity, having its own will, having its own path into existence, having even its own body that you can sometimes feel (in the evening, after the sun has set and the evening meditation is over or when walking around, on the dusty pathways, under the sun at midday), but above all, having a deep wisdom of life and immense reservoirs of acceptance and unconditional love.

Before ending my Afrozian summer, I want to share with you some photos of little moments which happened in Afroz and did not find their way into my blog. Like the mess in my luggage just after arriving, or the first storm of the summer, in June, with dinner by the fire, like the lunch with the girls in Skala (“Let’s do it now, before you guys start Primal!”), the bar, the Buddha Groove, an afternoon of wonderful playing and dancing which happened spontaneously one day, after lunch, the new Osho Afroz sign, old and new friends gathered in Zorba the Buddha on our last night there, Mytilini in the light of the rising sun, just before leaving the island.

“The best things in life just happen” read the sign in a bar in Mytilini where I bought my last coffee. I would just add: All we have to do is to let them happen. Thank you, Afroz, for teaching me what it means to “let things happen”!

Holiday mood

My (extended) Afroz summer gained a more holiday-ish spirit when I received the visit of my friend from Bucharest, Irina (the same Irina I met in Nice, maybe you remember), who came together with her husband and with my brother, Alexandru. Having people from my Romanian life, people that are so dear and important to me, joining into my experience of Afroz and of this island felt like an unexpected blessing.

One of these holiday-days, Irina and I decided it was the right moment for a “girls’ morning”. So we drove up to the village of Eressos and there we found the perfect place for our morning coffee: a little wooden bench under the big oak tree in the village square. Here, we enjoyed our coffee and the view of people coming and going out of the square, we listened to each other’s words, and hearts, we welcomed a stray cat that jumped out of nowhere besides us, on the bench. And, at length, we stood up and waked slowly the streets of the little village.

In the evening, now in the complete formula of four, we chose one of the restaurants over at the seaside to have dinner and to look at the sunset. And here it is another surprise that September brought into my life in Lesbos: the sun is no longer setting behind the hills, unseen, unnoticed, but into the sea, capturing the eye and the attention of all. Having been raised in a country where the sea faces east, this has been the first time in my life when I could watch, over and over again, the sunset on the sea. And sometimes I would just lock my eyes into the setting light, welcoming it inside me, wondering where the sun was going, what people and places would receive its light, now, that we could not see it anymore…