Far, Far Away...

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I haven't had the good fortune to travel the world and I don't know if I will ever get to see Italy and Greece in person, the two places I so want to visit if no where else ever.

But a year after my mother passed away, I had an opportunity to join a mission trip to Latvia. I jumped on the chance and spent and incredible month in the Baltic country.

I am still in awe when I look at these pictures of The Three Brothers in Riga. They bring back so many vivid memories. I actually got to walk around both Riga and Talsi on photo walks. (only I didn't know how to use my borrowed camera at the time.)
To go into the full experience would warrant a short story and I won't bore you with the details.
But I came back I different person, rested, peaceful, healed. I would have loved to just stay there. I felt like I was in a Monet painting on a daily basis; lush green, quaint ponds with over-sized lily pads, beautiful building - some of which dating back to almost medieval times. Families and friends that would just pull all the chairs into the garden/yard for the evening to have dinner and fellowship; no elaborate planning just getting together and doing.

Everything was enhanced in my senses. The birds and insects created daily symphonies for my listening pleasure. I found myself watching the intricate habits of little bugs going about their business. I was fascinated with the very nature of this wonderful country. I thrived on the small markets with limited choices for food and other staples. I longed for a permanent place in the laid-back, slower-paced culture of this place.

But I wanted cold Coke too. They don't refrigerate their soda. I missed that.

I know that my senses were heightened due to the loss and subsequent period of grief I was emerging from. Only months before I felt a window open to my soul letting in fresh air as I passed the one year anniversary of my mother's death. Now it was time to start living again, and what better place to renew my spirit then Talsi, Latvia on a mission trip.

So after a day like today when daily stresses of life and motherhood try to steal my joy, I look at these and other pictures from that amazing month of my life.

I breath deep.

I remember the Baltic sea, the bus rides, the architecture, the cat in the window, the narrow cobblestone streets, the walks at dusk, the hazelnut spread, the cotton-soft white sand of the beach, the colorful flowers. Oh my gosh the flowers!

And then once again I take back my peace.

I guess you can call it my Happy Place.


Brittany said...

Wow. Sounds amazing. Those buildings are beautiful!

United Studies said...

How beautiful! I am fortunate to be able to travel to Europe once or twice a year (my husband is from Denmark) and I love visiting new cities and seeing all the different architecture.

Anonymous said...

It only goes to show that everything has its own season.

My PSF this week is posted HERE. Please check on it if you can. Happy weekends!

Kat said...

Wow. What an experience. I had a similar experience on my first trip to Europe. So amazing.

I hope someday you do make it to Greece and Italy. Italy is on my must see list for "someday". :)

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Seriously, these are just eye candy. That coloring and the architecture are just spectacular. I haven't been to Europe in 10 years now, I wanna go back!

Pdyrholm said...

Sure is a different world... I bet the people experience is also so different from every day life. More relaxed and just that >>thing<< you can't really explain.

Great tour of your happy place :-)

KG said...

A hint on travel to Italy ... it's way better to go in hte spring or fall especially if you're going to Rome. It's too damn hot and overcrowded in the summer. Bonus? It's cheaper in the off-season! And Italy is totally worth the treck.

Greece is on my "Must Visit" list, too!

Andi said...

What a wonderful story and tour of such a neat part of your life...
I had similar experiences when I studied abroad in France (Strasbourg)- my first time alone in a foreign country, leaving my husband and 4 year old at home to do something purely for myself...a time of growing up and seeking myself...When I have one of those joy stealing moments, I too look back in my memory to those times. On a day trip one afternoon, we went to Giverney. I actually stood in Claude Monet's home, flower garden, and studio... looked out from his bedroom window, gazed at the lilly pads in that pond of his, and stood breathless in front of his paintings...moments like these are forever fresh in our memories and make breathing deeply well worth it sometimes!

Happy belated birthday....I have had a busy week back at work after summer break, and am now trying to catch up on my reading! Thanks again for this really special story and photos!!

Robyn said...

Sound like it was a fantastic trip. The photos are beautiful. It's nice how looking at photos can take you to another place.

Cecily R said...

The photos are stunning. Really. I love your perspective.

And it sounds like you had an amazing experience to go with the amazing scenery.

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