Peacefulness and tranquility...A small price to pay for inconsistencies...One year ago...Traffic jam on the canals of Venice

Another gorgeous day.
Not everyone needs peace and tranquility.  As we've traveled we've discovered how important it really is for us.  Soon, when we'll spend two weeks in Paris and two more weeks in London, we realize that for those four weeks we'll relinquish the peace and tranquility that we usually desire for the experience of visiting these two big cities.

Vegetables growing in our yard.
How could we possibly have traveled the world and not seen Paris and London?  As for London, our cruise on August 31st sails out of Harwich, a two and a half hour drive to the pier.  It was necessary to travel to London anyway with no airport in Harwich.

Not much of a gardener, I believe this is cabbage.  That will work!
If one does visit London, Paris offers a great starting point with relatively easy access via the Eurostar (formerly known as the Chunnel), another interesting experience.  How exciting it will be to take a train in a tunnel under the English Channel from Paris to London!  How could we not?
The hills of Madeira produce a wide array of color..
Throwing peace and tranquility out the window, we brace ourselves for the hustle and bustle of the upcoming two months from the time we leave Madeira  on July 31st until we arrive in Hawaii on October 5th, where again in Oahu and Maui we'll be among crowds when out and about, less so when we live on the Big island and Kauai.

Cabbage, up close?
But here, in Madeira, we find ourselves entrenched in the peace and tranquility of a low stress life in a sleepy little village, mostly occupied by homeowners, generations deep. It's easy to lose oneself in the easy pace of tranquil living, caught up in the "small things" that bring us a sense of belonging, coupled with a profound sense of comfort.

Wild flowers growing in our side yard.
This morning, both of us up and dressed early, we've left the sliding glass door ajar letting in the chilly morning air, again waiting to hear the loud music of the vegetable guy whom we very much desire to see this morning, on Tuesday, his occasional day in our neighborhood.   His arrival is not consistent.

Every time I walk, I find something new.
This life of tranquility is not always consistent.  That's part of the magic of tranquility.  No rush.  No urgency.  No stress. The local markets have a particular product one week but not the next, or the next.  One doesn't complain to the manager.

At dusk, the look of the ocean changes.
I recall in my old life that the local Cub Foods usually carried a favorite organic butter that I used.  One week, they were out of stock. Rousting up the dairy manager, I kindly asked when it would be in.  Nervously, he said, "Oh, I'll get it here for you tomorrow."  The next day, I returned and it was there. 

Lots of steps with no handrail, common throughout these steep hills.
I remember thinking to myself that the poor guy was stressed when he was out of a product that a regular customer such as I, was unable to purchase.  For those of us who have worked with the public, we recall the angst we've felt when we couldn't quickly fulfill the expectations of a customer.  I don't miss those days...on either end.

When I was growing up in California, we called these "shrimp" trees.
The little market here in Campanario and the bigger supermarket in Ribeira Brava have unsweetened full fat Greek yogurt one week but not the next.  I don't mention it.  It's all a part of the life here. Peacefulness breeds inconsistency.  It's a small price to pay.

Overlooking the road while on my walk.
The produce guy may not show today.  And when he does on another day, we may have already gone to the little market to buy the farm fresh produce we needed.  But, neither he nor us gives it a second thought when he drives by on another day and we aren't waiting for him on the side of the road.
In Minnesota, these were called begonias, a flower that grew well in shady areas.
One thing we do know for sure.  We'll love Paris and London.  We'll see the sites, take endless photos and dine in fabulous restaurants. Perhaps, at times, we'll even be in awe of the crowds, their passion and enthusiasm for these big cities and their treasures.

The temperate climate is ideal for flowers.
In our hearts, wherever we may travel, we'll always recall the tranquility of Campanario, Madeira; Marloth Park, South Africa; the Masai Mara, Kenya; Boveglo, Italy and Placencia, Belize where the simplicity of daily life and its curious inconsistencies, ultimately have brought us the most joy.

Photo from one year ago today, June 17, 2013:

We'd hoped to ride in a gondola but when there were lined up like this, bumper to bumper hardly moving in the canals, we opted against getting into this "traffic jam."  Instead, we walked for several hours.  For details from that date, please click here.


Post a Comment