After a day of work, it's a pleasure of the senses to lace up our hiking shoes and make our way into the hills.
We walk past ancient walls, cats lazing around, bright flowers cascading from window boxes, laundry hanging from balconies - then we take a dirt road to the right, and we are in the middle of olive trees, wild rosemary and red colored dirt.
Calm everywhere. The sound of birds, and of the day ending with a sweet sigh.
Last night, just as I was, once again, trying to find words to express this bliss, I was frozen mid sentence by a shock to my ears and my mind
What the h*** was that??
Gunshots in "my" peaceful hills. Instantly confusing to my Essence sensor.
Minutes later, same thing. And again. I turned around and went home.
I guess this old place cares little about the story I want to make about it, and when hunting season starts, there are gunshots to celebrate that.
This morning still, birds chirping alternate with gunshots. It's sunny, it's beautiful, the olive trees are still happy and wise - and it's hunting season. I don't have to like it.
Well, my gut has been acting up a bit (gluten, dairy - repeat) in the last three days, and I have been a on a steady diet of chicken and rice. The beautiful roasted chicken we had bought at the Lucca market is gone, and so we make our way to the store to pick up a chicken to roast ourselves, with a bit of fresh rosemary. We use our Duolingo words to tell the man behind the counter what we would like, and he immediately puts a fat bird on the scale. A fat bird - complete with a head, beak, eyes, and feet.
I can't do this. What's going to happen when we get home? I'm sure not going to cut off that head, nor do I want it cut by someone else in our kitchen.
The man sees the look on my face and asks me if I would like him to cut it for me. I nod, slightly queasy.
He grabs his knife and gets to work expertly and swiftly on removing the offensive parts. I can't wait to get out of there.
And then ... then ... he picks the now unattached head, the feet, and god knows what else, and wraps them carefully in a little bit of paper for us to take home. As a treat, I am guessing. After all, we are paying for it.
In unison, we let him know that no thank you, we don't need them.
As we walk out of the store, I can almost see him shaking his head and wondering what's the matter with us.
I walk fast, trying to dispel some nervous energy, while the sunny hills resound with occasional gunshots. I flinch with each one of them.
My partner says nothing for a bit, and then he does. He starts to ask: you realize that there is a disconnect, here and that ...
I interrupt him. I know. I know. I am not fully blind to my blind spots.
I dislike hunters, and I don't want to see the eyes of the chicken I'm about to roast with rosemary.
A good little bit of hypocrisy to file away for later.
Essential Happiness Retreat
January 10 to 20, 2019
Guadeloupe, French Caribbean
"Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating experience with the world."
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Heart-achingly beautiful, your words and how you reveal your truth."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
"Don't miss a post!
You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.