Image by Angela Radulescu via Flickr
Before I start writing, I just want to say that this post is for Katherine Jenkins, for her insightful and inspiring blog"Lessons From The Monk I Married" http://lessonsfromthemonkimarried.blogspot.com/ . After her last post and the comment she left me, she made me think: if I would get out of here, where would I go?
Well, when I meditate, do respiration/relaxation exercises or when I simply want to get away, I always go to my special place. It is not an imaginary place. It exists in this reality and it is situated in Romania, in the Apuseni Mountains. A place called, in Romanian, "Alunul"(The Hazelnut Tree). A tiny village in the middle of the forest near a huge artificial lake. The place is secluded, you can reach it by boat across the lake or through complicated mountaind roads. But once you've reached it, you'll be spellbound for ever, and you'll have to return...Because you found heaven on earth.
The nature is almost virgin there, there are only a few houses, some of them from immemorial times, and its inhabitants live like they used to live 100 years ago, without electricity or running water, sleeping in winter in the stables, for the fear that the bears will take away their livestock.
There, at the forest's edge runs a creek, its water very cold and crystal clear. Huge trees shadow the spring and the sun peeks through the leaves, making golden reflections on the pebbles in the river bed. In a sense, it is quiet. Not traffic, no people talking loudly, no signs of civilization. You are sorrounded by the sound of nature: the bubbling creek, the wind in the tall grass dotted with wild , whispering flowers, millions of insects - an amazing chorus, birds chirping, the ram's bell keeping the cadence.It is so paceful there.
I used to sit on an improvised bridge - a solid tree branch, with my feet dangling just above the surface of the water, drinking in the peace that surrounded me. The sun was gentle on my skin, the wind carresed my face and hair and my heart was beating in the perfect rythm of the nature.
I am sure things have changed there, too. Ten years have been passed since my last visit there and people started showing an interest in the zone, bulding holiday homes; thirsty, as I was, for the peace and quiet of the place.
Although I long for it, I am not sure I want to go there now, to see that, maybe the magic place changed, becoming just another village in Romania... In nature, where the hand of the man touches, it desecrates...And not only nature...I remember how dissapointed I was after my visit to Cluj - Romania, two years ago, after an absence of almost 8 years. The city I knew and I loved changed and was changing before my eyes and I wasn't able to reconnect with it only with great effort.
So I think maybe it is better for me to keep it this way. The image of Alunul, frozen in time, in my soul.
Katherine, when you asked my where would I rather be I automatically thought about Alunul. But I am really afraid to confront a changed present. I prefer to dwell in the past. So what now?