Tuesday, June 18, 2013
When we were in Dubrovnik, Ben was in class most mornings so I went out adventuring on my own.
My favourite morning was day three when I took a bus down to Dubrovnik's city center. I had read there was a vegetable and fish market downtown so I planned out which bus to take, where to catch it, and set off.
As I started out, I put on my hypersensitive travel senses: I paraphrased what the woman selling bus tickets told me just to make sure I heard her right and that we understood each other. I took note of a woman with a camera around her neck and a big straw hat on - I heard her buy a ticket to the Gruz stop - that's where I was going. On the bus, I smiled at the older man beside me and asked him to let me know when my Gruz stop came along. I got a bit thrown off when he looked at me strangely and told me I could get off any number of places... in broken english.
I watched the woman I had previously identified - the tourist-y one, like me - she seemed to be getting farther than me in befriending someone beside her, presumably a local. I trusted her silently and hopped off when she did.
At the information booth at the Gruz station, I was told that the whole downtown core is called Gruz. That's why the man on the bus had looked at me strangely - he was trying to tell me we were in Gruz. I also found out the vegetable market was closed for construction. Well, that wasn't as I expected.
I shook off my disappointment and just started walking. I came to the harbour and checked out the nice boats. I looked into the turquoise water, then peered at the cruise ships anchored on the horizon.
I walked back towards the Old Town, where we were staying. Along the way, I saw bathtubs turned to benches and hundreds of rusty locks hanging on a fence.
I thought about how the city was attacked not too long ago. And about how beautiful it was - terracotta roofs, stone sidewalks, lovely people.
I came to a fork in the road and wondered which way to go. Then I looked up and saw a building on a mountain I recognized. It was across from the Old Town. I walked in its direction and eventually started to recognize my surroundings and came to the gate into the Old Town and back to our little place.
Since coming home from Dubrovnik I've been saying things to myself that I find I can summarize in that little walk. Like, don't miss the miracles. Everyday. I don't want to be so distracted or ungrateful that I don't recognize the small graces around me. The wonder of a little spot to sit and rest, the mystery of a moment, the conversation with a stranger, the life in my legs and the smell of the air.
I would love to pour out my life and not expect anything back. I can plan and I can try but I want to hold my expectations lightly. Because sometimes our expectations rob us of life. If something goes differently than I expect, I want to keep walking. Keep moving, in wonderment.
I want to not worry. That's a toughie. To not be afraid. Enjoying life now. Remembering that morning when I didn't worry - I just looked around and up and recognized where I should go, how to get home. And put one foot in front of the other.