Upending your life, moving to a foreign land is a spectacular adventure. And it’s easy, all castles and fairytales, right? Wrong.
Late yesterday afternoon — gorgeous day — I walked through bustling Heidelberg and EVERYBODY had a friend. Most were walking arm in arm, checking out shoes, dinner possibilities, and sharing moments… except me. I can’t read any of the posters. I can’t understand any of the chatter, normally a fine source of entertaining companionship and a field day for good material. I can’t banter with the shopkeepers.
And today — what surprises could such a gloomy morning possibly hold? In the view from our flat, the shimmering sun on the river has disappeared. Grey clouds hang close. I feel the damp, dreary cold. A barge slinks down the Neckar and a lonesome rower zooms past.
This vista offers few signs of life. Even our across- the- way -neighbors who, like us, don’t believe in closing blinds, are not at their usual 24/7 work stations. (I wonder, we will have a Grace Kelly-Jimmy Stewart, New York City “Rear Window” experience from this flat? Coming soon — Rupert de Salis and Jody Tull in the Heidelberg thriller: “Side Window.”)
I am seriously moping. I need deep connection. I wish I could call my mom, but that’s not possible. She died seven years ago. I miss her every day, but especially in moments like this.
It’s still wee hours in Ann Arbor. Maybe Facebook is worth a try.
As I open my laptop, this appears on screen:
“I took your workshop in Southern India last January. I live 10 minutes from you in Heidelberg. What are you doing right now? I want to take you out for a late morning chai.”
Minutes later, a bright and shining familiar face appears at the door. Janine is singing a chant I taught her, “How I love you, how I love you.” This is a complete and glorious surprise, literally out of the blue. I am speechless.
The sun comes out and the drizzle fizzles. We walk arm in arm to the river café and have ourselves a time. Facebook was the matchmaker. The Sivananda Yoga Centre in Neyyar Dam, South India was the connection. Janine took the Teachers Training Course and I was there to teach my “Finding Your Voice” course.
Wonders never cease and I am in AWE!
Such synchronistic events should no longer surprise me. Janine is clearly on the yoga path. Since graduating from TTC, she rises every morning at 4:30 to meditate, chant, and practice hatha yoga. She already offers yoga classes in her husband’s art gallery.
We had so much to talk about and mull and enJOY. It was already getting dark. We took photos and later posted them, generating likes and comments, and more connections. We made ourselves a few more memories and planned our next meeting.
I have a new and first friend in Heidelberg.
Rupert sometimes asks, “How is it that these things happen to you?” The answer is always the same: “I meditate.”
A big blue moment done got upstaged. Some things are just so beyond my orchestrating. It pulls me back to music and some of my favorite lyrics:
“I am walking by a river of grace. Every step beyond my knowing, what all the angels will put into place. Blessed be what they’re unfolding.”