I’ve spent all morning sitting in our lovely little house in Goa, trying to think of something to write, extolling our latest adventures here at the beginning of our new beginning. But the truth is, we haven’t really done anything yet.
I’m not even kidding. Over two weeks into our new life in Colomb Bay, we’ve only been in the sea twice. Twice.
As it turns out, our start has been slow and sweet, like wading through molasses. After the past two years of working incessantly to bring our dream to fruition, it has been the slow burner we really needed, perhaps more than we ever even realised, enabling us to relax and regroup and start again.
There is magic here in Goa, of the subtlest kind. The earth is alive, like a beating heart, pumping joy right into your veins. Richness abounds, but not in the material sense. The wealth comes from the gradual opening up of yourself that the land quietly instigates. That’s the gift India bestows upon you, and all you have to do is accept it graciously.
I feel like that is what I am doing right now, in the quiet stillness of our first few weeks; being grateful, and processing the emotions and heartache of leaving one life behind in blind pursuit of another. Because it isn’t easy, in fact I have never found anything more difficult. But it is also wonderful, and so I sit with that knowledge, and patiently let this new way of life trickle in.
I went for a walk along Patnem beach the other morning. It was early and I had the beach to myself, save for a herd of cows and a few stray dogs that happily trotted along the shore with me, each one vying for pride of place beside my hand, ready for a little scratch behind the ear.
When I reached the end of the beach I sat on a rock and watched the morning sun dance across the water. It reminded me of a beautiful quote I love by Harriet Tubman:
“I looked at my hands, to see if I was the same person now that I was free. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.”
I wondered if I was still the same person. I feel so different now, like a great weight has been lifted, and I can move freely again at last. Without that ever present longing that drove me here in the first place, I am left reeling, with a lightness that leaves me feeling bemused and unsteady. I don’t quite know what to do with this new found freedom, perhaps explaining why I have done so little since we first arrived… but it is glorious all the same.
I truly love it here. I am more content than I can ever remember being, and take great pleasure in the simplest of things, like driving around on our moped, buying vegetables at the local market and cooking our own meals, lazing around with the cat, feeding the cows that wander through our backyard and getting to know our surroundings.
Our landlady laughs every time she greets us, her kind face expressing more than her limited English is able to. She has one eye that looks off to the side, so I am never quite sure which one to focus on as we talk.
She performs Puja every morning, a Hindu ceremony of thanks and worship. She rings a little bell and chants prayers under her breath as she draws beautiful flowers and symbols on the ground. She conjures up a different design every day, carefully created using a fine powder, then left unprotected to drift and scatter, and be created anew the following morning.
It inspires me to look at my own life in the same way. To create with a sense of freedom, and enjoy the beauty of each moment while it lasts.
So that is how life passes here now. I try to live each day with gratitude, make it as beautiful as I can, and then allow the winds of life to scatter it with all the days that went before, ready to do it all again tomorrow.
And tomorrow, I’m going for a swim in the sea. For the third time.