I don’t even know how to begin.
Didn’t even think I was gonna write something, in the first place.
Still, I can feel it simmering. It’s there, it’s somewhere in some small corner of my soul, waiting to come to surface.
Well, whatever it is, will just naturally ‘flow’ disguised as a bunch of lines belonging to a blog post.
It will probably not make any sense, because I do not intend to give this blog post a specific meaning or title. I just want to write down whatever comes to my mind, whatever comes from the soul, whatever I feel in this moment.
I can visualize the Earth right now… You know, I used to fall asleep when I was little visualizing it. I have no idea just how did I know how Earth looked like from above or the fact that the Universe was this dark place filled with tiny yellow lights, but I did. I would see the Earth spinning and I would gravitate in its vicinity, sort of like a NASA satellite, observing, studying, feeling mesmerized by the beauty of it. You will think I’m crazy, I know it, but I’d lay down in bed, eyes closed, visualizing all I’ve mentioned above and feel Earth slowly spinning around. I know. Maybe it was me. Or something in my brain. But I was the “little sattelite” gravitating around this beautiful Planet, seeing the Oceans, the Mountains, the seas, the green grass fields, until I would eventually fall asleep smiling.
Other times I would fall asleep gazing at a star. I’d just pick a star and watch it from my bed, as I was lying down. It was so peaceful, so serene, so innocent. The thing that shocks me now, thinking about it, is the fact that I was 5 back then, and dreaming of such big things already… I longed with a passion I cannot explain in words, to find out what is up there, beyond the clouds, the vast light blue color above me, beyond the stars, beyond the Moon and the Sun…
My Mom and Dad remember even now how I used to share all my toys. They tried to teach me to share things and not be a scrooge, but there were oh so many times I’d come back inside empty-handed: no dolls, no teddy bears, no nothing.
“-Where’s your favorite doll? Mom used to ask.
-Oh, mama, you see, there is Juliana from accross the street, and you know her Mom is in a wheelchair, and they have no Dad, and she has no money to buy one. I figured she needed her more than I did. But could you buy me another one, when you get your monthly salary?
-Oh, Catalina honey… what are we gonna do with you? It’s so good that you shared it, and you should always be kind. Always remember what me and Dad have always tried to teach you, but honey, I trust you’ll understand when you grow up and know how to guard your heart. [Turning to Dad, whispering]. Oh, honey, I can’t tell her just how rough the grown-up world can be, and that sharing absolutely everything might eventually turn against her…
[Dad to Mom]: I’ll talk to her when time is right. She understands anyway. You know, I think this little girl of ours will end up building a foundation for children and poor people. That’s how I see things…
[Mom to Dad]: Yeah, I think so too…
Cata, honey, go wash your hands. Time for dinner now. And about the salary thing, you know mama told you we have to buy your brother everything he needs for school, and pay all the bills, and have enough money left to eat and… but you know what? If you promise to try to be a good, kind daughter, I’ll do my best to buy you a new doll. And maybe, from time to time, you can let one of them take a nap, and you go play outside without them…What do you say?
-Ok, mama. I understand. “
What happened to that little girl who understood life better than she does now, as a grown-up? Was it the innocence of her soul, the light heart, that hadn’t yet met the struggles of life, the hurt, the loneliness… the mistakes, the regret, the pain…?
I know mama isn’t lying, because I can remember it myself, like it was yesterday. I was just a little kid, but I understood things. I would never stop in the middle of the street, crying and stumping my feet on the ground, so that I can have it my way. My parents would talk to me in a very normal way, not using the baby language anymore. And I remember now so clearly… it wasn’t that my folks didn’t have the money to buy me the dolls and all the teddy bears and even cars I wanted. They just wanted me to be able to appreciate these things, because so many other children around me didn’t afford to have them, so I was sometimes made to wait. And I would wait. Patiently. They say I was a good kid. I don’t know, but I guess I was a kid who never caused trouble.
I did have my moments, like any other child, but my Dad took care I learned all the lessons there are to learn from every mistake. One time, my brother went to his bedroom for 3 minutes, and during that time I broke a vase. Guess he didn’t even hear it breaking. I got so scared, I hid it somewhere very fast, I don’t even remember where. My parents came home and they saw the look on my face. They even noticed the vase was missing and the flowers were in the garbage can. My Dad asked me if there’s something I need to tell him. I looked into his eyes and first I said No. He gently asked me one more time. I started crying… He looked at me with his kind green eyes, took me in his lap and said: “If admitted, every mistake is automatically half forgiven”. Then I burst into tears even harder and told him what happened. I was playing tennis on my own in the living room. Dad told me tennis is way more fun to play outside and inside we can break things, which is not a good thing, and besides it will only upset mama more. And she’s tired from work and we don’t want to see her sad. And that, in life, lying will only help you for a very short while, but eventually will come around to cause you only trouble. So, always tell the truth and be honest with yourself and the others.
He would always have these conversations with me, whenever I’d do something not so good, or even if I did something very good. He’d always be there with the advice, the lesson. Often, my Mom would join the conversation, when she wasn’t busy cooking or doing things around the house.
I remember this other thing that always makes me cry. Communist Romania was quite a rough time for the population, but my parents were doing pretty good. They weren’t the only ones to live decently and really quite ok. Nevertheless, ‘doing pretty good’ meant a lot of hard work and would sometimes require sacrifices. Looking back, it seems weird that it was hard to find the more ‘exotic’ fruits back then, such as bananas, or oranges, but yes. They were hard to find, you had to know people who knew people who knew other people and pay some extra cash to be able to buy some good fruits, and not have to wait for days or even weeks. 😦 So, right before dinner time, my Dad would come from work, with a bag of goodies for their children. And we’d be waiting and I would jump in his arms and kiss his cheeks so hard. And he’d tell us: “This is for you, my beautiful children”. We would open the bag and find oranges and bananas, and sometimes even mangos. We would not even blink or breathe, we would start eating them so fast, like we were in a competition… Dad would just sit on a chair watching us, smiling. I would take a banana and go to him and ask him ” Daddy, would you like to eat a banana?” He’d smile gently and say “No, sweetie, thank you. Daddy doesn’t really like bananas or oranges, or mangos.” Mom would turn me down as politely as Dad and would then watch him and silent tears would fall from her eyes. “Mama, is everything OK?” I would asked, worried. “Sure honey. Sure. Just got something in my eyes”.
It took almost 10 to 15 years to find out that Dad really actually loved exotic fruits. He just wanted to see his children happy…
Other than that, communist Romania was not exactly as bad as they portray it. Some things were even better than what happens in nowadays Romania. 😦 But, we were far from the Western Civilization and people were longing to be free, to speak their minds without fearing they’d be imprisoned, to not have to stand in a queue at the store until fainting, just to get a bottle of milk… There were very good and very bad things about that period of time, but all I can remember is a wonderful, really carefree childhood, filled with amazing memories. And when I think about that time, oh my goodness, tears are filling up my eyes, because the nostalgia I get is too intense to bear.
The green grass fields in my grandma’s village, the yard in which I used to play… Yes, I spent all my summer holidays there, I was crazy about that place. I grew up drinking fresh milk from my grandparents’ cow and eating fresh eggs. I was always rosy-cheeked throughout that period of time, and I guess even now. A little. I was playing with my many cousins, I had my favourite Jonathan apple tree, in grandma’s back yard, where I loved to climb and watch the sky, the clouds, and whole village. My grandma’s house was located in the middle of the village, on a hill, you could see the entire landscape. It was amazing. I would make up songs in my head every day, I would play with the flowers, bees and butterflyes. I would help deliver baby pigs and spent an entire night with grandma in the barn, to wait for Breaza [grandma’s cow] to give birth. She would always have baby…boys, for some reason 🙂 I would experience all of these very simple, apparently redneck things, but which shaped the way I see and understand life and the miracle that it is. I would spend my days surrounded by ducks and chicken, piglets, sheep, cats and dogs…
I will never forget Johnny, the kitten me and my cousin found on a street in the village. He belonged to a lady there, but she saw that I fell for Johnny so bad, she had already a few other kittens, so she gave him to us. Johnny grew into this beautiful cat, who we trained to jump in a special manner. I remember “Bear” and “Laika”, our two black dogs, their loyalty and how me and my cousin we’d play on virtually all of the village’s hills and fields, always accompanied by them. Laika was Bear’s mother. Sometimes we’d play a lot, and rain would come, my cousin would take Laika in his arms and I’d take Bear and cover him with all my clothes…
But Laika died one day and… not long after, Bear did too. He just walked away from grandma’s home. After his mom died, he was not the same anymore, however hard we tried to cheer him up. The vet came, he said he was ok. But, one day, we saw him go. We thought the might take a walk and come back. We found him the second day, dead. He just missed his mom too much, I guess…:( I cried for days.
But then this little miracle came into my life… His name was Tommy and he made my childhood beautiful. Everytime I’d come to visit grandma, he’d hear me and grandma always used to say that even from a two miles away, he could sense me and he had that special kind of barking and grandma said: “Oh, Catalina must be arriving now”. 🙂 I don’t even want to mention how we lost Tommy some 7 years after having received him as a present from a friend, it’s just too sad to talk about it… I close my eyes though, and I see that little bundle of fur, you could almost not see his eyes… then how he grew up and how many beautiful stories we have of him. How he defended the cow from being bitten by a weasel, how he defended me and my cousin from a group of wild dogs, and oh, so many others. It would take me pages…
I dreamt of my grandma last night, and for the first time in a long time now, I saw my Dad, my…lost Dad in my sleep. I’ve started this blog post wanting to write down my random thoughts, but I admit I knew I had wanted to write about my last night dream. I fell asleep with my earphones on, listening to music…And I was thinking about my friends when I fell asleep. How life decided we should all meet, how we were probably supposed to meet in this life and share our experiences and learn from each other and grow. And make a difference. And I thought that each of my friends has his/her own contribution to this world. And I could just visualize each one is his/her own country and how the Planet is already a little better, just because we have the purest feelings for each other, just because we all are trying to make a difference, each in his/her own little way. It gave me goosebumps, thinking that a bunch of people can actually do so much, just by having love in their hearts. Love for this Planet and everything beautiful that resides in it. I can’t explain how I visualized it in my mind, the Planet and us making a change, but it was so beautiful, that I wish, you the one reading this now, could be in my head for a second…
So, I fell asleep happy, governed by a feeling of sheer joy. And I dreamt of my grandma and her son, my Dad. And Dad talked to me. A short sentence. But he basically answered to all I’d ever wanted to know. 🙂
I don’t know why sometimes it takes years to realize you’ve missed all the opportunities that this life has so generously layed down before you, putting them at your disposal. I don’t know why sometimes, you have to get back to your inner child, to understand more about life then you would as a grown up. I don’t know why you have to break up so that you can pull yourself back together. I don’t know why good people have to die and appear in your dreams, when they could’ve been right here, but probably me and my second Dad [it sounds so freakin’ weird calling him ‘2nd Dad’…] had to meet.
I don’t know why many things are meant to be happening in my life right now.
All I know is that I am here. Now. I breathe. And I’m not gonna waste my time anymore.
Maybe my childhood stories are trying to tell me something.
Maybe there’s the opportunity I should most be sorry I’ve missed.
Singing, translating, writing, radio, they can be all done in my free time.
Maybe Universe is giving me a big clue here.
Life is NOW. It’s HERE. If I take just one tiny step and trust it, I know the Universe will come up with all the answers, without me ever having to ask a single question in the first place. Everything will fall into place. Like all those times Kate remembered this tiny lil’ secret:
“Life is a flow of Love. Only your participation is required. “