Happy Easter to you all from the forest!
As I enter my last week here at Sitka, I feel as free as I had ever been in the last weeks.
I am soaking up all the magic around me, walking, dancing, listening, meeting new friends, and napping wrapped in the Northwestern sun.
I am taking care of Morley house, wishing to leave it clean and welcoming to the next lucky dweller. I got sincerely attached to this home, and I hope that one day, when the heron will settle down somewhere, it will be somewhere similar… At 24, I feel blessed to have found already a house that truly felt mine. I will bring this feeling with me.
Not to talk to what has been around it the whole time!
I have enrolled and online course about birdsong, to take advantage of these days of intense singing to tune up my ear a bit more on these wonderful displays of music, bursting in the forest and on the water.
I am getting more confident in distinguishing bald eagles from vultures, and developing a special personal way to talk to seagulls -who actually seem not to dislike personal portraits, when properly talked into them!
Seals, on the other hand, have different views on the matter. They will look and listen to me while I talk to them and imitate their sounds, but as soon as the phone gets out of my pocket…they disappear underwater. They don’t like paparazzi!
I can tell you though, that the feeling of having their big, black eyes looking at me is so special, even flattering, and funny… it really makes me feel their curiosity, tickling the back of my neck. It makes them so familiar…after all, we end up staring at each other.
I have some acknowledgements to do. There will probably be more for the next posts as well, but I decided to start today…
So here is my first tale.
As I was editing a -shorter- version on this post earlier this morning, someone knocked at my door… I didn’t expect visitors and was having coffee, still in my pajamas. In the beginning, I thought some fruits had fallen down from the cutting board… But no, it was a knocking alright, and there was someone at the door!
And I found out, that an amazing family of neighbors I got to know in the last weeks, had decided that I couldn’t have an Easter …without an Easter Egg hunt!!!
They had hidden Easter eggs for me all over Morley’s garden, and it was time for me to take a bag, and go searching!!
It was a total surprise, of the sweetest kind.
We had been taking about American Easter traditions yesterday. We are often going on walks together, and honestly the sweet presence of Peggy (one of the Easter Bunny Helpers) was of great comfort in my last weeks.
I had loved their stories of painting eggs and of the easter bunny hiding them. Sounded like fun!! And it really was great to be a child again, going on a treasure hunt in this magical place, thanks to these magical people.
Their gift really warmed my heart, and made me bounce around in my pajamas looking for the eggs all over the courtyard -with the best giggling soundtrack of my friends, giving hints here and there, and the jays and juncos chirping in the sunny morning air. Thank you thank you thank you! It was…
Another story I want to tell, takes place around 10 days ago, while I was struggling with the immigration-law research (thinking to extend my ESTA). I found myself in a stall situation -it looked like, Immigration offices phones couldn’t call international numbers like mine.
I couldn’t get them to call me back, I was growing worried, and kept sending messages by email. Still, nothing came through…until I received a call on WhatsApp.
A true Gentlemen, working in the offices, had realized that something was not working in the communication chain. He had figured out what it was, and decided to take the situation in his own hands.
To overcome the official phones deficiency, he had called me from his personal phone on WhatsApp, to explain me the situation and advice about the next steps to take.
In a landscape like that of immigration laws, strict, honestly unfriendly and apparently not touched by the current global situation, a single thoughtful act of kindness transformed the whole experience for me.
In the end, it is about people, and I was lucky to find someone to remind me about that. I don’t know if he’ll ever read this message, but all the same, I thank him for this!
As you see, someone around the Sitka community read my post about lemons…. And took action for me!! Thanks to Nicola and Carrena, I am now sure that I won’t lack lemons until I’ll leave, next Saturday, and will have probably some left to give away as gifts! You are lovely, ladies!!
I also had the great luck, thanks to the Sitka Staff, to find someone who will give me a ride to the Portland Airport for my departure, embarking with me on a nocturnal journey… Elizabeth, from the neighborhood as well, used to do these trips for her job, and volunteered to take me! I thank her dearly, and her husband Henry too -for sharing his amazing cakes!!
Last but not the least, I want to acknowledge the constant presence in my last weeks of Claudio and Marianne, who on behalf of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation and the FUP Friends of the IYMF have been supporting not only the New World Project, but all my last endeavors and researches as I figured out how to deal with this new, fast-changing situation.
Their presence was a huge relief and resource, and went much further than the funding itself. They made me feel supported as a person as well as a professional, right when I needed it. Thank you so much!
As I become aware of all these magic and care around me, tuning up with the appearances of animals and this gorgeous weather, I feel that yes, these are hard times, but here, now, in me and around me, marvel stands its ground.
I believe I am really learning to fly in these new currents!
And Easter is here, in the most ancient of its meanings.
Ostara, the ancient pagan festivity of the spring equinox, celebrating rebirth and the awakening of the Earth; Beltane, the creation of life, coming up on May the 1st, turning the wheel of the year towards summer, and Us, just between them, with a seasonal, ripe chance in our hands.
To be born again. To discover New Worlds in our own lives -because there is no real need to travel to do that- and somehow find out that all of a sudden, we’re someone new.
To take care of one another, and to be taken care of!
Just in a blink of the world, to grasp something unexpected, shift our gaze, realize how incredible all of this is -and to be part of it-, falling in love with what is around us… and being loved back.
This is what these days are bringing to me, through the love and care of people, through the marvels and gifts of nature.
I wish you all a beautiful Easter, enjoying the joy of the natural world, cherishing your beauty and sharing it with those you care for.
With magic and love!