When I was working as a journalist, I had written a story with an old woman, living all alone in an ancient mountain village. Many years passed ever since, but I still remember a lot of details.
The road – first of all. Too much to say “road” – no asphalt, just a path flowing through beautiful hills, ancient trees, small rivers. You can walk or use a horse-drawn cart or, if you are among the lucky ones, can get there with an off-road car. We were.
The village. An ancient, mountain village, with few dozens inhabitants at its best. Many, many years ago, a wonderful, traditional community with both romanians and saxons living there, two schools, two churches, a small village shop and many stories. But after Communist Party started running the country people left one by one – to the industralised towns or to villages closer to “civilisation”. The old remained – and died one by one.
When I got there, Granny was the only one left.
Her house was the first one on the left, she had dogs, chickens, sheep, cats and the most serene smile on earth both on her face and her heart. Beyond her house were ruined houses, ruined churches and parts of ruined dreams but there, in her small yard, small house and huge heart was the most beautiful feeling of “to live”. Not “to be alive” but to actually “live”.
She had no electricity, only a small radio, with batteries, to hear the news. Was cooking simply – vegetables from her small garden, eggs from her chickens, polenta, milk from sheep. Huggings from dogs and cats. Faith, the feeling that God was protecting every of her steps, her heartbeats, her choices.
Yes – happiness certailny wears the look in her eyes.
She could’ve left anytime – her children kept on asking her to do that – but no. You can find confort anywhere, big houses all around, and asphalt, and electricity, and radios that don’t work with batteries – but home, you know, home can’t be anywhere else but where your heart is.
And her heart was there, embracing memories, loving dogs and cats and that piece of land – blessed and loved up to the last meter of love.
And she didn’t need more – kept on putting accent on this – here, I have everything I need. I have good, healthy, food, my home, loving animals, this air, so pure, the voice of the wood and memories everywhere – if I lose my memories, I lose my life.
She made hot polenta, took some homemade cheese, fresh milk. We ate together – we, the dogs and the cats, of course. You could almost hear your heart beating. Blessed silence, roots, meanings and love.
We wouldn’t have left.
We did, of course – with our hearts dancing, with souls wearing butterfly wings.
No one says to isolate yourself to be happy, but you know what?
There’s life without 1375 checks of Facebook notifications, daily – there certainly is. And without the last model of those branded shoes. And you can go on with a long list of last models of “mandatory branded” staff…Of course there is life without business dinners instead of family dinners. Without scrolling every few minutes, without confusing your job with your life and without that house with seven rooms when you only need two.
Yes, and without 100 specialists and personal develpoment books that “teach” you, on a lot of money, how to be happy.
Do you really think you “absolutely” need all that?
But what if…
….you spend more time reading a good book and less time scrolling…
….choose a road trip or a mountain trip instead of that all inclusive….
….walk through the wet grass, in the morning, like those mornings when we were kids and this was enough to make us – happy?…
….make pankakes in pijamas, Sunday morning, instead of watching the latest news on TV…
….buy only what you trully need, not what you don’t necessarry need, actually not at all, but buy because everyone has and you can’t be “out of trend”…says who?
….choose to be big child more often, knowing that, as long as our inner child is still ageless, we never get old, you know…
….call your parents more often, visit them more often, spend more time with your friends…
….write a letter – not an e-mail, a whatsapp message, but a beautiful letter for someone you love, and choose the right paper, and take time to think, and smile, thinking of his\her reaction…
….walk without shoes on the beach even if it’s not the warmest weather – just for that unique feeling, of sand hugging your feet…
….eat that cake in the middle of the diet – was it the end of the world? of course it wasn’t….
….say “I love you” more often, “I’m thinking about you” more often, “Are you ok” more often, “I miss you” more often…
……and I’m absolutely sure you can add so many to my list – please, do.
I have this feeling more and more often – that during this crazy, fast forward times that we are living, we have to come back from time to time to our roots. To the wisdom of old people. To simplicity. To what really matters. To a trully lived life. To us, the happy ones.
100 mastercards could never buy the inner peace in that Granny’s eyes. No insta story looks like the surroundings of her house. No branded perfume smells like that pure air in the middle of the old village.
By the way – When was the last time you took an honest look into your heart?