Sunday, November 4, 2018

Driving on the other side of the road

A blog is a valuable tool to share ideas, feelings and one's life in general, but only if I actually take the time to write it. I just realized I have not posted on this blog since last April... Wow!
Unfortunately our western life is often so busy and frenetic that, even with the latest tools for communication and efficiency, we feel overwhelmed and never have enough time to get to do many things we want to. Computers were supposed to render our life easier and give us more free time. In reality they have made it more stressful and less human. We walk or run past each other without noticing, without paying attention.
I get reminded of that often, especially when I get to fly somewhere and spend time at an airport. Airports are fascinating places. So many people standing in line next to each other for security and check-in, ordering food, all going to such different places for so many different reasons. While we are sharing very close spaces for a few moments, in just a few hours, we will be so many miles and time zones apart, living very different experiences. Someone will enjoy the sun on a beach, somebody will nervously be preparing for a job interview in a cold hotel room, somebody, after years of separation, will visit relatives in a far away country where customs, rules and way of lives are nothing like ours. For many years I have thought about spending a whole day at the airport, asking people about where they are going and why, and writing a book of short human, travel stories. Maybe now somebody reading this blog will decide to steal my idea.


I love the moss in the center of the road

Back in mid October, I was one of those lucky people getting to fly away for a while. I visited Isabella who is studying for a semester in Glasgow, Scotland. When I was young, I spent many months in the southern part of England, but never visited Scotland before. What a blessing to share with Isabella a short moment of her life as she is growing into a beautiful young woman.
We drove a rented BMW on the other side of the road and learned the historical reasons why our British friends do that.   Do you know why?
We visited the only pumpkin patch in Scotland and learned how people there carved (and still carve) turnips.
We jogged together through the busy streets of an old European city.
We spent time with the Catholic community of the University of Glasgow, enjoying a simple meal together in a large, unpretentious room and listened to a splendid talk about Chapter 6 of Gospel of St. John. It is the Gospel about the bread of life and the Eucharist, that so many felt scandalized by and left Jesus because of it.  Will you leave as well?    There were local students and many others from countries all over Europe and beyond. All together receiving the body of Christ. A truly Catholic, universal, church.


with Isabella and Judy

XI century chapel in Edinburgh's Castle.

Mary Stuart - Queen of Scots

Modern Glasgow at sunrise (8AM)

students apartments

jogging together

When I visit a new place I always try to imagine life there. What would it be like to live here? What would I miss the most, what would I enjoy the most? Would I be able to adapt to the differences? I am reminded that I am adaptable, and realize I don't need the security of all the things I hold so dear at home and I am so scared to leave. Being with those I love, experiencing life and learning together is what I treasure. It helps me get out of myself and open up to others more. I wish Norine had been there with me.
I could live in Scotland. I love the slow and narrow country roads, the stone walls dividing properties, erected by hand who knows when and I particularly love the ever-present sheep, lazily grazing. It was nice to enjoy clouds and some gentle rain as well.

After a few days in Glasgow we took the train to London to meet with the Italian part of the family, but I will keep that for another post, hopefully very soon.

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