We were on a week long sail, meandering down the coast of northern Croatia. The Albatross was a motorized sailboat but to me it looked like a pirate ship. Twenty castaways from six countries were in the hands of Captain Allen and his three crew and we were off to discover new lands. Thankfully for (claustrophobic) me we secured one of the 3 closet sized upper deck cabins complete with the lifesaving door and window.
Our adventure took us around and through the chain of islands that make up the jagged, lush coastline. Tiny villages nestled in coves, hours from one another and far from towns of any size dotted the landscape. Neat, square, white washed houses with red tile roofs stood proudly, surrounded by lush vegetable gardens and wild flowers dancing in the breeze. Village dogs trotted with purpose as they made their rounds. Fishing boats bobbed in the water. It took your breath away…..the very essence of peacefulness and serenity.
What do they DO here?
It kept slipping from my mouth.
I was smitten by the beauty and simplicity, I could feel myself awash in tranquility and yet my mind was making calculations, puzzling over the lack of activity, immediacy and hustle bustle. What would you do if you lived here? Where would you go? Where is the closest ‘center’?
But I had been fully seduced and that opened the door. What I saw was a clear view of myself……a lifelong go-er and do-er. Those were the terms I thought in and measured against.
I assigned value based on accomplishment and production. My measure of a good day of a well lived life was one that accomplished and experienced much. Even laid back, do nothing days had gusto.
These villages and their lovely people showed me the beauty of simplicity and the importance of quiet emptiness. Life is in a natural order and rhythm here….this is what life really looks like. It’s not dressed up in a swirl of activity….it simply is.
They take care of things….the houses immaculate and pristine…. the sea clear, clean, sparkling and aquamarine blue. They are proud of their homes, villages and country. It shows.
People are happy. I saw the warm smiles, I felt the peace. Their connectedness has deep roots…..they are rooted just like their gardens. There is a lack of excess yet a feeling of abundance……. in simple things.
There are many ways to live rich lives. This was one of them. I will return home with a piece of it. I want to create simplicity and (most importantly) allow the empty space. This is the place where the insight dawns and knowingness is born.
I got it.