Alentejo, where nothing ever happens!

12 November 2019

Today is a blessed day…..a day spent in peace, in love and contentment. It was a day without anxiety or stress, a day of sweet calmness and freshly surprising moments. It was not a special day, or a unique day, it was a purely ordinary day, with simple everyday moments. Today it is a present day.

If it happens by life to live in the beautiful Portuguese countryside of the rural Alentejo region, then you cannot help but be in love with the small villages, the beautiful local people and the mesmerising raw nature, which brings in your mind images of Africa.

I took off driving my little Portuguese car to visit the local mechanic in Colos village, a very sweet man, to check something that was needed. Having no clue about cars or anything related to their mechanics, I had a wonderful encounter where although not speaking the local language I witnessed and practically learned a lot about spark plugs, how you check if they are still good, how you change them and how important they are to actually make your car start as they ignite the battery power…. which was not my case…..I never expected that I would be so interested in car mechanics!

I felt connectedness beyond the form.

Moving on I passed by the local café, which has been relatively recently renovated and I have not been there for quite a while, and thought why not a quick stop for a “Galao descafeinado”?

As I was sitting quietly in the cute café, sipping peacefully my coffee, looking out of the window the local life taking place slowly, I took a look around me and thought something surely feels very different here, what is it? And then it dawned on me……. I always had a natural love for the elderly people but never thought about it too much.

As I was sitting there in the café, looking the old men and women coming in and out, ordering, taking a sit, leaving, I realised none of them was looking at their phones and I have well-founded doubts that the vast majority of them did not even own one and even if they do is somewhere buried in an old dusty drawer.  Not only though the elderly but also younger people than them were sitting, drinking their coffee, eating their “pastel de nata”, discussing, paying attention to each other. Not up till that moment I understood the saying about this region of Portugal “Alentejo, where nothing ever happens!”.

I stepped out of the place admitting to myself “that was quiet refreshing!!”. By the way I was the only one with a phone taking the photos you see here, but I did it for you guys!

On the way back to what I call home for the last three years, I was admiring the nature, the fields and the animals. I was contemplating about truth, freedom, love and forgiveness. On how unless our heart is free from heaviness, from grudges, from hurts, from past memories and interpretations of past events and imaginations about the future, love cannot flourish. Forgiveness is one of its ways.

My contemplation was interrupted by something that appeared to be a quiet big bird on the left side of the road. As I was approaching it driving by, it became afraid of the presence of the car approaching it, so it decided to flew away the exact moment I was passing next to it. As it risen above the asphalt, the car was nearly next to it, it was a perfect moment! It passed from my left open driver window directly in front of the windscreen almost touching it. In the moment I felt I might hit it with the car. It was an owl! In Greece where I come from, an owl is considered and omen of wisdom and insight sent from Gods. I accepted with gratitude the clue sent to me from within.

 
Today was a blessed day, a day of insight, a day of forgiveness, a day to admire the full moon rising above the hills, a day to enjoy the company of your own self, feeling completely enveloped in love and joy without any reason. A day in Alentejo, where nothing ever happens!

Artemisia

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