Gosh, we were so tired, our nerves so wired. Since January our neighbors had big constructions going on. Every morning we were woken up by a convoy of around 7 cars, trucks and machines in our tiny dead-end street, spitting out around 15 workers, and then the party started. Holidays and Sundays, oftentimes not respected. No communication possible. There was no chance for rebalancing, our nervous systems over time entrained into some really unhealthy cortisol roller coasters. Always living in uncertainty what would come next. Of course we also still had also a lot of our own work going on, and I had just gone through the last and emotional ride through the final formalities of my divorce.
A spontaneous, heaven-sent break came through our dear friend Verónica. She is one of my oldest friends here in the Azores. She is also a biologist and works for the university of Faial and was my collaborator and mentor when I came to Graciosa the first time, in 2016, for our study on the lizards and seabirds, about which I wrote my Master´s thesis.
Verónica invited us for a camping trip on the beautiful island of Flores. Jan had been to Flores in 2018 with his sailing boat Henrietta, but I had not yet had the chance to visit. I just heard amazing things from this island, which is the westernmost part of Europe. Out there alone in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, with tons of rain and harsh weather in winter.
But the days we were there… just lovely weather! Most of the time we camped at the camping place in the main town, also called Santa Cruz, like on Graciosa, one night we camped on the other side of the island, in the secluded Fajã Grande (I can really recommend camping in the Azores – the camping places are usually in very good shape and excellently equipped for just a few Euros to use).
Flores is just so breathtakingly beautiful with a stunning landscape. Much more spectacular than our humble Graciosa. One guide called it „a mix of the Alps and Jurassic park“ and yes, he has a point.
It was so healing for us, this time, also with Verónica’s colleague and friend Pedro. We also met the only other two Finnish people that were living in the Azores and who were also building up a small permaculture community. Even the family of one of them was exactly now there for a visit from Finland, a surprising synchronicity, because they were also exactly there in the time when Jan had visited the first time some years ago! Jan really enjoyed it, for I have some German people on Graciosa, but he didn´t have any live contact to people from his country for some years. I could feel his loneliness sometimes.
It was so good to make a trip somewhere else, not just always to Terceira for going to the hospital for the check ups for Jan´s leg.
The beautiful landscape, seeing lakes, streams, rivers and waterfalls again (we don´t have any of that in Graciosa), all the flowers, just enjoying life with good people…
Jan and I also had a very spontaneous consultation with manual therapist Jaen, arranged by Verónica, who gave each of us a foot reflexology treatment. Just coming to her place was already an amazing experience. I felt like in some tiny mountain village in Nepal or something, searching for a mysterious healer. Jan was the first, and I went for a walk in this secluded place where time seemed to stand still, all inner turmoil forgotten. I came to an incredibly beautiful stream with a rock where the sun was breaking through the foliage of the surrounding trees. I just had to shuck off my clothes and dive into this clear, fresh water, warming in the sunlight afterwards, just being soothed by the sound of the flowing water.
After an hour of resting it was time to head back to get my treatment and a very relaxed Jan went to find the river. The treatment was indescribable. My feet, my roots, tend to hold so much tension and life pain. I went into some deeply restoring and healing space, not sleeping, not being here. After Jaen had left the room I was slowly coming back to myself, captured by the picture of a Buddha, with a big eye on his front looking at me, which I had not noticed before. I felt like I was floating in clouds, like I was dreaming. On a second look I noticed Jan sitting on a bench right outside the window, his back towards me. Who is this mysterious man I am traveling with for over a year as a couple now… Is this my life? Is this real or a dream? I felt like a newborn, having to orient in my body, in the space around me again. My mind just empty, it was almost impossible to make the last arrangements and speaking the words of good-bye to Jaen. No chattering in my mind, just PEACE, SILENCE! And a soft, peaceful smile on my face. Some deep inner pain, just gone, like a distant nightmare.
You normally NEVER see us sitting around somewhere and drinking coffee… Amazing waterfalls everywhere Aldeia de Cuada, just lovely I took some seeds of these wonderful hollyhocks and planted them in our garden Jan and me, shyly connecting on a deeper level Following the trail to a wonderful waterfall I also can dive fully into life, yeah! So many beautiful lakes Invited for a day by the Finnish people, so happy to also enjoy here really good food, made with love, from the own garden. Sunset in Fajã Grande An incredible young man finding his path in his life Preparing for the trip to Corvo in the morning. Yes, we had to wear masks on the open sea… I will make no comment here, enough stupid discussions back then *gg* We found our moments of freedom anyway. Little Corvo A happy Finn had found some snow! Old mill Cool ancient lock system Exploring the small town Unusually perfect view of the Caldeira of Corvo Feeling happy and lighter now at the end of the trip, feeling like at the end of the world Everybody has space for their own processes or just enjoying Just being, with nature. Claiming Life, agreeing to be Here Opening deeper for a courageous Love, here, on the day of the Mars-Venus Conjunction The first time I see the Vidália (endemic to the Azores) in blossom The old windmills of Corvo. They look completely different than the ones of Graciosa A last boat trip around beautiful Flores
The highlight was the visit of Corvo, the smallest Azorian island with its under 400 inhabitants. It is also a really unique and peaceful place with such a beautiful nature. Life felt so normal here, nobody was wearing masks (for some reasons the government had found it necessary to make a program to fully vaccinate the people of this completely secluded place, gives me the creeps. There had also been plans for the remainder islands. Sounds more like some study to me on an isolated population. But I will not go into this any more here).
Yes, all the time there had been things coming up for me, not just peace and harmony. Fighting some inner soul fights, I don´t know how old really, me constantly breaking through, claiming my trust in life, my right to be here. To be happy. And safe. Here. Now. With this amazing man at my side. My Jan. Letting the story go that he could leave Graciosa and me and be happier with other people. And me being worthy and right to be his woman.
It was the day of the rare cosmological event of the Mars-Venus conjunction. This night I felt like I have it in my hands, to make a big step to shift my reality, to claim a deeper life, a powerful step to open up to love, to trust love more fully. To receive the biggest gift, a man and a woman can give to each other. Our bodies and souls being ready. Inviting a new soul in…
Looking back I am amazed about this guidance. When we chose courage and heart, when we allow to write a story of bliss and happiness, following the tiny silver thread, despite hostile and difficult life circumstances, the Universe sets things into motion and sends the right companions and guides, on the invisible and the visible realm.
Thank you, romantic Flores. Thank you for helping me relaxing into and opening up to bigger and fuller life. And thank you also Graciosa for being so perfect for us in your simplicity, but with lots of sunshine hours. Our home and the home of our son.