Saturday. A day when you open your eyes and you know that you should do something more, something different. You feel that the weekend is not meant to be lived on the background of daily routine and monotony. The weekends are not the time you should spend in the hugs of your bed sheets, because you are too bored from life and you have no desire to do anything. The weekends are not supposed to be used as an opportunity to hide from the world and lock yourself inside the cage of four walls, called- apartment.
You wake up and you feel that the day is impatiently waiting for you, so you can go on an adventure. You can smell the aroma of coffee, which is coming from the kitchen- “good morning” served without words, just with care and respect.
Saturday is my favorite day. The day that I always gift to myself and that part of me, which can’t stand the monotony and standstill. A day, which I let loose from the leash of the daily life and a day I set free- and then I rush forward to it, so I can experience the adventures it takes me on.
Last week was not an exception. I love silent, peaceful places- places, which are forgotten from civilization, but places preferred from life. Where the day gets different outlines- it slips from the dial-face of the clock and it hides from the time. It takes you in a time-less world, where it doesn’t matter what time it is, because everything happens in its own manner and in its own pace- nothing is being rushed or postponed. Everything happens in the exact moment.
Last Saturday, took me and Ivaylo to such a place- Rashkovo, Bulgaria. This is a wonderful village, which is hiding in mountain Rujana, which is a part of Stara planina. A village, which I forgot through the years and a place I didn’t even think of. After all, you know how serious it is to be an adult and have “important” tasks- life is always left to the side, because your career is more important.
Thanks to Ivaylo, who always challenges me to do what I “don’t have time for”, I decided to follow the Saturday and get back to the place, where I spent some of the most wonderful moments in my childhood.
Through the years, I allowed the existence of Rashkovo, to fade away and become a place which exists on the map, but not in the memories of my own life. Right when we arrived, though, it turned out that Rashkovo hasn’t forgotten me- it patiently kept every childhood memory and it reminded me them in an non obtrusive way.
I got out of the car, and I was greeted by the scent of herbs- those aromas, which grab you for the hand and teleport you in the past. They give you the opportunity, to once again walk back through the years and remember the people you loved and those who loved you back. They give you an opportunity to once again, through the conscious of an adult, to remember the kid you used to be. Scents, which somehow “knew” that I needed to remind myself that you are never too old, to behave like a child… it is never too late to ask for the best in life and never worry to actually receive it.
I was sitting on the balcony and I was staring at the yard, which wasn’t left bleak- it was in the company of beautiful flowers and autumn fruits, which were hiding behind the green leaves.
I was sitting and I was comparing the two worlds… the one, where I spend the work days and the one which I gist to myself during the weekend. I often think how strange it is- the one place always makes you hungry for more- achievements, self- realization, possessions, and the other one always makes you feel that you have enough. As if you don’t need more- you are content with the peaceful presence of nature, the gentle touch of the wind and the orchestra of the crickets. You feel complete, not because you receive or because you have, but just because you are- your true self, here, in the present moment.
I feel, as if in the big city, our true self is often gone to sleep- bored by the never- ending strive for more and by the superficial, which is filling the day.
Once we get on the road, though, with every kilometer we move away, our true self starts awakening- once it feels that it is time for true, meaningful things. Once it feels that we finally found the courage to explore the world and the abundance that awaits for us.
People often travel, just the way the live- they are always in a hurry. They travel from point A, to point B and even if there is something interesting on the road, they never stop to pay attention to it. For most people, what matters is the highway which will take them to the desired place, as fast as possible.
As I once read- “Don’t take the highway. Highways say: rush, there isn’t anything to be seen. This is about the stupid people, who want to get somewhere as fast as possible. We are not having business with geometry, but with traveling. Find us small, beautiful roads, which reveal everything that can be seen.”
That is exactly the way Ivaylo and I travel- we always choose, not the fastest road, but the most beautiful one. We choose the road, which invites us to stop and just enjoy the sunset or gaze into the horizon, astonished by the wonder, called nature.
This time was not an exception and we once again took the most beautiful road, which woke up our imagination and helped us draw the painting of our life- filled with adventures and experiences. This time, we found a new route, that we can try on a bike, so we can test our abilities, while enjoying the fresh air and gather experiences and meet wonderful people.
You know that we are always physically active, but in Rashkovo there isn’t a fitness place.. or at leat there is, but as every opportunity, the one to work out wasn’t “dressed” in 200 square meters gym, full of weights. Instead, our gym was endless- we didn’t have walls, and our floor was the green grass. The weights… they were iron again, but they had different names- we didn’t have dumbbells, bars or kettlebells. Fortunately we had scythe, a spade and a mattock.
Our coach, who was absent- my grandma, hasn’t left us a daily workout, but Ivaylo and I, know how to make the coach happy, that’s why we didn’t wait for long and we got busy working- the mission to mow the yard.
During the whole time, I was thinking what a pleasure it is to work out this way. No wonder that in the past people used to be happier and healthier. When you become a producer of what you consume; when it is up to you to turn the place where you live into Heaven, then everything goes in a whole, different dimension. First, you are always busy with something, which always leads to satisfactory results. Thus, you are not chased by boredom and you don’t wonder what problems to invent, in order to fill the emptiness left in the boredom.
In my opinion, happiness is in two things- to help others and to improve your own self. Well, the work in the yard, offers you both. In the company of wonderful people, you get to work hard and then see the results of your efforts. Then, you receive the “award” from your work, as more crops, which provide you what you need in order to live and be healthy… and of course the award to make your grandma happy, because you saved her some hard, physical work and gave her some more time.
When, from a consumer, you become a producer, you start appreciating everything so much more. You have attitude towards food and eating is not just an action, which brings satiety to your physical needs. Eating, becomes a celebration, a pleasure and a gift.
After the efforts we made to mow the yard and after we made the house a more appealing place, Ivaylo and I deserved a delicious dinner, which we once again prepared together and with a lot of desire. I love the evenings spend with him- the shared meal is not a small thing. It is the foundation of the family life, the place where you master the art of the conversation and where you adopt your values: to share, to listen, to take turns, to tolerate the differences; to argue without getting offended and to give even the scarce amount of food you have, because you’ve realized that it is better to have less and not be alone, than have much and be alone.
I love those days, when I forget about time ( fortunately it forgets about me, as well). I stop living according to the instructions of the clock and I start following the rhythm of nature- I go to sleep early and I wake up earlier.
On the next day, I woke up and I didn’t get the intense feeling that the tasks are waiting for me on the table. The day was kind and patient- it gave me a couple hours for reading and writing. A couple hours, which were accompanied by the orchestra of the nature, which gently moved the silence away and fills me with the sense of peace and completeness.
Then, it was time for a walk. When I am in the city, I love walking in the park, but I know this place better than I know my own bedroom. I’d rather walk in places that I don’t know- places, which I carefully explore and places which lead you to unknown places.
That’s what happened this time- Ivaylo and I headed for a walk without direction and we turned out to be on a really steep road in the mountain. It is strange, how when you go without direction, you arrive at places, that you’ve always searched for. As if, your inner “GPS”, always has an idea where you want to go and if you don’t intrude the opinion of the mind, it always leads you in the right direction.
I love these walks, because of the opportunity to spend time in nature and explore its wonders. I encountered this spider net, which carefully held the drops of rain. Beauty is around us, but it is not packed as a new piece of cloth, a new hairstyle. True beauty, the one that makes you feel complete is hidden there- in nature.
I was walking there and when we got out on a road, I noticed these trees and the way, their roots were attached to the Earth. The work of civilization has dug the ground, but the trees still had a stable foundation- their roots, which were bundled in the ground and even the strikes of the world around, didn’t allow the tree to slide down.
I was thinking how this reminded me about relationships between people- those between us and our family. Often times we think that we don’t have the best family and we are jealous for other people’s families. We rarely realize that no matter what happens on the surface, no matter how tough the situation seems, the roots are roots and they will never let you fall. The moments, when the whole world walks away, your parents are always there and offer you a helping hand- without asking and without being interested in the details. That is why every time you wish you could have different family members, remember that everybody has disadvantages, but one day, when these people are not around, you will miss this disadvantages the most and you would much rather bear their “annoying” repertoire, just so they can be around.
After a long walk, we gathered some walnuts, berries and dog roses. It is amazing how much food, the nature gives us- a huge variety and abundance. We just need to make some efforts to gather and preserve it.
Well, another beautiful, different weekend has gone by and it was time to go back to Sofia, because no matter where you go, you should always return. We appreciate something, just when it is not guaranteed. We long for something, just when we have time to be close to each other and time to be apart. What becomes a habit, is often being taken for granted. That’s why I will eagerly live through the work days, and wait for the next Saturday when I will once again give freedom to my day, so it can take me to a wonderful place- where I will get a chance to be with myself- just the way I love myself, without exceptions!
And some more pictures: