…a town in juxtaposition of very old and very modern.
I awoke in the heart this town just starting to rouse its self from winter, in preparation for the seasonal tourists, which are sure to arrive. Narrow medieval streets lined with colorful tiny shops filled my morning walk. People bustling about on narrow sidewalks dodging in and out of cars, to get where they are going. Crosswalks exist, but are rarely used. Drivers seem to expect people will pop into the street and cross in front of them.
Yes, this is a village, a very old village. I’m snuggled in the middle of it for a week, and I it’s charming. I almost feel lost in another time and place.
Expanding the exploration outside the old core, are many modern buildings and amenities. In these neighborhoods, the houses are bigger and further apart. The homes have characteristics of the region, but they feel like neighborhoods I’ve been to in many places.
Yet it’s in the very old where I find myself more comfortable. I enjoy walking from place to place. The people feel more connected with each other. They smile as you pass or stop to greet you.
Oddly enough, most my photos are from out of town. Go figure…
Seventy-two hours – no phone, no watch, no laptop, no camera!
I recently returned from a women’s retreat where those were the rules. I did not miss a watch, but there were so many times where the beauty surrounding me was awe-inspiring and I simply wished I had my camera to capture the moment. I confess, I found being without my laptop a little challenging. I was not aware how connected to it I had become.
It was a wonderful weekend! I’m still meditating on all that happened in those seventy-two hours.
I would like to share one impact the weekend had on me. As a culture, we are busy and in such a hurry. So much so, we rarely take the time to share with people why we value them, or what they mean to us, what we appreciate about them or how they have impacted our lives.
Late in the weekend, I was given a bag of letters written by people who knew me. I had no idea how or why they wrote the letters, but reading them was overwhelming! They filled my heart with love and provided an insight into what my life meant to them, or why they valued me. There were aspects of my life or personality that were validated through those letters. The power of the written word to speak life into another is so strong.
My husband and I have tried to implement a tradition at least during the Christmas holidays where letters are written to our children and their spouses and they are to write us highlighting something special about the person the letter is for. Our efforts have resulted in varying levels of success. It is a lot of work, and I have caught myself wondering if we should continue the task. My weekend experience was confirmation for me we need to continue writing letters of affirmation to our children.
I realized affirming others is something needed in our culture. Instead of just identifying this is a need in our culture I can do to promote a change even if it is only in a small part of our world. My goal is to write at least one letter of affirmation to someone each month.
Have you found power in the words written to you? Did those words uplift and encourage you? I would enjoy hearing about your experiences.