Portugal: a mountain, somewhere in the Alto Minho … Sometimes I have to stop looking inwards, and remember to look outwards for a while. Forget all that living my life in my head, and get back down into my body for a change. Take a great big gulp of real life, so that I remember what it is to be alive. The sun on my skin, the sea on the horizon, tinkling goat bells from somewhere close by. Lunch as a thing of beauty and importance, not as a passing thought between this work and that work. Beaches, bikes, rivers, kayaks, barbeques. Our family, all in one place at one time.
Cork Oak (Quercus suber) … I’m in love with cork oak trees. Each one has a unique shape; their bark is wizened and thick, the texture soft and yielding to the touch. They take forever to grow, but remember: “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
Gorse: the bees love it, but OMG those spikes … Many plants in Portugal are spiky and flammable. Dry gorse gives a wall of fire, ripping across the land. Broom and Eucalyptus add to the incendiary mix. The fires here are dangerous, and epic, but they give you a powerful sense of the land being in charge of you, rather than you being in charge of the land. And on that note, I’ll get back to staring at the view. After all, the sun is setting and the stars will be out soon. Wishing you a very Happy Easter. 🙂