“On one corner in the village this morning stood a coffee shop man looking over his little square with little tables, talking with a big voice and glowing brown eyes, greeting the people passing by and serving the usual coffee, snacks or the occasional little meal to the local people starting their days in engaged chats over life, politics, personal relationships or fun stories from the day before. The coffee shop man had been watching over this square for a couple of decades, while his belly growing a bit bigger, the voice a bit deeper, the hair a bit thinner but still shining black, and caring for the refined culture of positive values and compassion in his little kingdom.”
“He calmly looked at the trees and the flowers around him, and took a deep sigh. The village was still flashing in the back of his mind, drifting further and further away, but then coming back again with images of the square, the river, the little ducks, and the streets. And a wave of different emotions for the little everyday habits, like closing the door to the house, turning a corner on the street, seeing a square opening up before him, or the little cup of tea in the evenings. It was so close to him at times, so vivid and alive, so full of joy and light and inspiration for him. It was a time of great change, and of peace and stability, and of new forms of joy and happiness entering into his life, giving new perspectives on life and people, and on everything before and after those years. It was like a beaming little oasis of beauty in his mind, and a permanent source of new energy and sweet memories. It had changed him, and his future, forever.”
“On another corner was standing the flower shop lady. She had the most wonderful smile and sparkling eyes, although with some hidden sadness at times, but always helpful and engaging in her recommendations and putting together wonderful collections of nice and colorful flowers. The shop spread out onto the streets with the sunshine in the morning, with just a little contraction of the flower stand for lunch and a little break, and then spreading out again in the afternoon, a little bit more careful but still lighting up the street and bringing joy to the people passing by.”
He always loved to walk. The body slowly moving, the limbs performing their natural functions, and the breathing. The air softly through the mouth, the throat, filling the chest. The clarity of the senses. How we walk through our lives, a long stream of changing scenery and endless repetition.
As a little boy, to school, on travels, all the memories and experiences connected to and absorbed in the state of walking. Faint travel memories from Greek temples by the Mediterranean Sea, to dark and busy streets in the midst of China, the flowing green landscapes of lush Vietnam, the classical buildings of downtown Washington, gushing geysers on Iceland, tiny streets of childhood summer vacations filled with sunshine and soft scents of flowers in green, violet, yellow. All recorded and remembered while in motion, moving and carefully placing one foot in front of the other. Living life and moving through time.
Longer excerpt here!
As he sat down in the peaceful park his mind started to drift as usual. Swaths of hidden memories and past joys bubbled up from the deep as he watched the ducks glide along the clear calm surface of the lake. Some thoughts were clear and vivid, others more muddled and fragmented, some with strong emotions still, while yet again others strangely remote and neutral after the passing of time and changes in life rendering them distant and beautiful but other like. Ever since he was a little child he had loved the peace of a small lake in the park.
And the day had just begun.
“And that night he kept dreaming about new travels once again, about tropical islands, swinging palms and blue pristine skies, or bustling town squares in ancient old cities, with a little sidewalk table and a coffee, or sometimes blended into a glass of wine, soaking in the hot sun and the historical buildings, and feeling the thick warm atmosphere of a lively town with a big heart and passionate outbursts of joy, enthusiasm, and intense human bonds blistering with intensity and love.”
“One morning a new friend appeared at the sidewalk table, unassumingly sitting beside Maurice and carefully reading the menu before softly doing the orders with a flowing smile at the end. Her dark hair was shimmering in the sun, and a careful but withdrawn sparkle was hiding in her eyes. He immediately felt a bit dizzy.”
“One day when he lived there he woke up a bit early. Outside there was a thin layer of snow, and the sun was carefully trickling through the curtains and made a glowing line of bright yellow on the soft carpet next to the bed. The air was transparent with small shining particles slowly descending into the small strip of light, and a calm and refreshing silence filled the room.
These mornings were one among his favorites. It always gave him a good start on a bright new day.
At times life could be a long string of days like that, fresh and crisp, with subtle beauty and little wonders of nature like the tiny soft snow flakes covering the streets and roof tops. The sun shining a warm blanket over the village, and some scattered points of chimney smoke carefully dissolving into the blue skies, with some small groups of birds gliding over the neighborhoods. The river silently drawing a thin blue line through the village, and the horizons a bit waving in the contrasts over a cold arid landscape and the slowly warming skies.
These beautiful scenes had been repeated thousands of times over the centuries, with the little village growing from nothing into a bustling little town, and seeing the constant flow of lifetimes coming and going, some in silence and some in turmoil, some in joy and some in ease, some in hardships and some in unfairness, some in absence while others in presence, all with the flow of kings and mayors, wars and peace, philosophical strains of humanity, bigger events in history and nature, and the ever relentless passing of time and change.”