K’s High Five: Brugge, Birthday Style?

Really, looking back on the last year of my life, I don’t really need excuses any longer to celebrate. For 30 years, I anticipated events and traditional celebration as an opportunity to treat myself. I had difficulty INDULGING.

Yep, something snapped, because I no longer need “I am turning 32, let’s party!” in order for me to jump right into the deep end. In fact, I am not only traveling the length of my life, but the breadth as well. Tiny moments of stolen bliss, where over and over again this past year, I feel as if I am keenly aware of my life growing and expanding, but also…seizing the day, and drinking the wine, and eating the pizza, and feeling alive.

But, why not take a three dayer and since I have explored a LOT about wine and vineyards, learn a little, taste a little BEER action in the place where I tasted and cherished the best beer in the past:

BELGIUM

 

I did NOT take this picture! It's too grand for my talents...but a certain STUDD did

#1 The Beer. I believe that the Creator of this creation, of this specialness, must have wanted me to imbibe this beer. Or if he/she/it doesn’t involve itself in such minascule matters, did a little hand clap for me as I sat in a room at the smallest Trappist Abbey in Belgium. The light coming in, the intimacy of the conversation, the connection between me those around me, the sense of receiving some piece of tradition, and something so unearned and gracious and redeeming….and temporary that felt amazingly: ALIVE and LIFE GIVING. (It was a 101 moment…I’ll recap later!)

#2 A bike tour. 

I crave a guided tour when traveling. It exposes me to little stories that contain more meaning than “that’s just a windmill”. For example, on our bike tour in Brugge, when biked out to a nearby village. The woman told a story about a “Robin Hood” menace and a black dog that stopped up a damn.

I learned that wooden windmills were built to move round to catch the direction of the wind. It also exposes me to colorful new friends, who help me laugh, are better at photo ops than I am, and help me feel connected when it is easy to feel unknown on the road.

On a bike, with the sun and the easy  movement of the pedals…I feel a little like I am 8 again, and also 32.

Loved this one in particular. The sun just so, the beer stop perfect (who couldn’t love a bike break with fries, waffles and a beer…plus a good looking fella that picks up the tab?)

#3 morning delights…for the first time since the morning of my last fatal jog in Austria, OVER THREE MONTHS ago, I trekked out before 7 for a light jog. Just being able to withstand the cobble stone streets and maintain a light pace…the 6 MPH pace centered my breathing, shifting me into amazement mode and electrified my spirit. Such gratitude for this body, this morning, this light, these simple sights, the smell of the canals and the mixture of historical architecture and the water magnified how ALIVE my world is, and I, not a mere witness, am continually CAPABLE and RESPONSIVE to getting my feet dirty and exploring its treasures….Look, at some of my AHA moments.

 

Beautiful Bridge in Brugge

AND

 

Look at where these feet can take me!

#4  The Company……..

Don’t really need to share why, what, when or how.

But there was this moment sitting on a bridge….

 

and another standing out in the sun….

 

 

and another savouring a fine meal….

 

the heart’s fast and then slow uncovering, learning, how to  grasp necessity of connection,

how spend the day and give it away,

 

as you

can’t take it with you in hardness, but only carry it in soft, penetrable memories.

#5

The STREET Food, of course!

And for the first time EVER EVER EVER

I

Took

Not ONE

Single

Picture

of what I consumed

except the beer, of course

Waffles, Fries, Mussels, Chocolate….

and

LIFE

There are no events but thoughts and the heart’s hard turning, the heart’s slow learning where to love and whom. The rest is merely gossip, and tales for other times

Anne Dillard

 

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5 thoughts on “K’s High Five: Brugge, Birthday Style?

  1. Sounds like a great trip. I bet the beer was awesome. We were supposed to go last summer, but things came up and we only made it to Paris. Sometimes I want to put the camera down, but even long before blogging I was one of those people that wanted to photograph everything. No matter what, you will always have the memories. Happy Birthday!

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