Back home (3)

July 22, 2009 at 8:11 am Leave a comment

It’s always a delight to be in Vienna. I arrived shortly after noon and met a friend for lunch at a nice outdoor restaurant — in a courtyard with chestnut trees. We had some serious catching up to do and got right to work. A lot had changed for both of us since I last saw her.

She eventually had to go back to work, and I had to find a birthday card for a dear friend. I only had my guitar and a small suitcase with me, so that was manageable. I found the perfect card, sat at a café, had a glass of juice, and wrote it out. Then it was time to head over to my other friend’s — where I was to spend the night.

We are very close and can talk about anything and everything under the sun. When she first saw me, she commented that I’d lost weight. I explained the move, the stress, the cats, and the realization that I need food and sleep. She made a nice supper, and the next day a wonderful lunch.

I hadn’t planned to stay so long, but by morning it had suddenly turned cold and was pouring all day. We ended up hanging out on the living room couch, talking, and watching a sweet romantic movie about serendipity. By late afternoon the rain had stopped, so it was time to be on my way.

After I left, I reflected on our brief visit and felt such gratitude for good friends — who aren’t afraid to ask me if I’m okay, and who also take me in, give me good food, and hang out with me. They are truly precious.

Thus I embarked upon the last adventure of my journey — took the train to a rural area southwest of Vienna for a garden party. My friends (the hosts) had organized a room for me at an inn for the 2 nights, and to my surprise had already paid for it as well! They were delighted that I’d come so far, and that I brought my guitar and agreed to play a little concert for the guests on Sunday. That really made me feel good.

The weather turned for the better Sunday morning. It didn’t get really warm, but at least the sun came out and the wind died down a bit. We were able to have the party outdoors as planned. Several people came. I knew no one besides the hosts. A mutual friend was supposed to come, but she completely forgot about it — she is in the process of moving. At first I felt disappointed and slightly abandoned, but by the end of the evening I’d had some really nice conversations with a handful of guests and realized: if my friend had shown up, I never would have spoken as much with the others.

It was a wonderful evening and visit. The next morning I walked to the train station and got on the train home. It was a 7-hour ride and I thought I’d read “Steppenwolf” but spent most of the time dozing, smiling, and looking out the window. It was a truly wonderful week, and a few momentous realizations came through, which was quite helpful.

In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting friends and being so well taken care of. It is delightful to be spoiled by friends every once in a while. Good company and good food work wonders.

There was one realization that really warmed my heart. Half way through the journey, and then especially on the way home, I realized that I had enjoyed the trip, but was excitedly looking forward to going home. That is a wonderful feeling. During the past 20 years, I usually had a sinking feeling in my stomach — somewhat close to dread — when it was time to go home. I used to feel sad. Not any more.

Oh, one last thing. When I got home, my daughter wasn’t here and the place was a mess — by my standards. I called her to ask her something, and then mentioned the mess. Her voice sounded genuinely surprised and she said: “I don’t think it’s that bad.” I didn’t bother to go into details, but did straighten up for a good hour.

She got home a couple of hours later and I kissed her on the cheek. She gave me a present! It was a little Buddha statue that I’d been eyeing for some time, but never bought. I kissed her again and gave her a big, long hug and thanked her. This is the first gift in a few years! I am touched that she would bring me something — and something that she knows I really like. For me, this is a sign of healing in our relationship, and I am so very thankful. I grinned at her: “So, you don’t think the place was such a mess?” She smiled back: “No.”

Entry filed under: mothers and daughters, Vacation adventures. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Back home (2) Birthday Numbers

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