There is a season for each thing, is said somewhere in the Bible. As I stand some days before leaving for Norway, I feel that the seasons are changing. And not only because I go from an African heat wave hitting Barcelona to a weird Nordic summer of +17 and rain, but also because I feel that the story is changing. I am turning some invisible pages right now.
Only now I feel like enjoying Barcelona at my most. I even want to share some photos of it – but when I searched my gallery on the phone, I found only photos of furniture, its prices and flower pots. I remember when after my first months here my friend asked me: “And when are you going to write a post about your favorite places and cafes in Barcelona?” Not that I was not eating outside. But I was like: “Dude, what do you imagine my life to be? Sipping coffee on the terraces all the time? I can write a post with the review of furniture stores though. If that would interest someone 😆”
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that in the end my summer will be Scandinavian. After much back and forth, it looks that I will still join my husband who is working in Oslo this summer (first, the idea was that I go with him, next, that I stay in Barcelona, and in the end he got a bit emotional because two months apart is too long. Just to give a little idea of how our family works 😆).
I didn’t know what to feel. Happy to escape from the heat and noise of Bcn (and to hug my Oslo friends) or sad to leave the summer for the Norwegian weather unpredictability? But then I decided to look at the brighter side of things – took my journal and jotted down all the things I am looking forward to do in Oslo.
Once I read this: “May you walk in beauty” is the blessing of Navaho Indians. I ripped the page with this article from the magazine, put into my vision journal – and left it in Oslo. So I don’t remember anything except this phrase, no explanation, no thought elaboration 🙂 But I simply love it. It is a good blessing. I like to sign my posts with it.
And then I thought that when I hear this phrase I usually think of great things like natural wonders or man-made creations. But this doesn’t need to be something great and faraway exotic. In fact, it can be something small and near, like the things that surround me every day. So I opened my eyes and looked for the beauty all around me. Everything that I like.
Here on the blog I try to follow the philosophy of small steps and small things. And I want to add to it by capturing the small things that give me joy. So here is one of them.
Why I love living in Barcelona. Because on any given evening I can walk out of the house with camera in hand, stroll aimlessly and feel inspired. And feel exploring. And feel love.
Last week I went out for a stroll to a neighborhood, not far from mine, called Sant Andreu. Sant Andreu looks like a little pueblo, a village of its own. And it is has the truth in it, because it used to be a separate village before being integrated in the city of Barcelona. Sant Andreu is full of narrow streets shaded by orange trees, cobblestone walks and sweet little houses. But this text is not going to be about it. Neither the photos (well, some are but not exclusively).
Walking in those narrow streets, I breathed in and realized that the air I breathe in – is love. The love for a place. Barcelona at that moment reminded me of three places I love so much: Kiev, Malaga and Rovinj.
The last weekend saw us flying to Seville for the bachelorette party of my dear friend. Most of them came from Oslo, some flew in from Amsterdam and Brusseles, and the two of us came as the last ones from Barcelona. While we were sitting on a late night plane, the crowd was already partying and bonding with another bachelor party from England. My friend said that they were cute and funny, but their minds got blown when asking “So where are you guys coming from?” She says, they were lost in the second phrase already.
“So, they are from Belarus and we are from Ukraine, she is from Venezuela, and he is Columbian. But we live in Norway. And he lives in Amsterdam. While she lives in Belgium. But the wedding is gonna be in Italy because the groom is Italian”. Are you still with me? :)) And then they asked the bachelor party: “What about you?” – “Well, we all are from UK, the bride is British, and the wedding will be in Britain”.
We arrived later from Barcelona. Otherwise we could also add to the mess: “We are Ukrainians, one lived in Netherlands, one lived in Norway, but now we are living in Barcelona”. And this is when I realized that this my normal life and this is my tribe. The international crowd who lived here and there, and then they moved – and possibly they still don’t settle. Maybe, you will find them in new places soon. And this is totally normal in my world.
But I wanted to write this post sharing my love for Seville, actually. This is why I started it. I didn’t take photos this time – and I even didn’t intend it in the heat of the weekend. But I went through my old images of Seville and found some pretty things.
A great journey starts with the small steps. A great change starts with some small changes. A big thing starts with the small things.
And if there were a chance to send a message to my younger self, I would send this. “Don’t wait for anything. Start doing the small things. Don’t wait for better weather, or better times, for better company or better opportunities. Start doing what you can do – now”. If you want to have a garden – start with a single pot. If you want to live one year in Paris – start learning French. If you want to learn a new dance – sign up for that salsa class now.
I believe there is a great potential of empowerment in doing small things and taking the small steps.
Today I continued exploring my French obsession :)) Even better, Facebook friendly suggested me another French online store – Sézane. It reminded me instantly of Rouje about which I wrote so fondly before. Maybe, Jeanne Damas was also inspired by it when creating her own brand Rouje.
What makes me happy is that I get more Southern fashion input now. I was namely a bit afraid that the Scandinavian style has made me into an eternal lover of gray color and minimalistic jewelry :)) Another thing that made me happy was this little video on their Instagram – about Barcelona (btw, they are cheating, because I can see the oranges in the trees. And oranges mean it is winter :)). All that brought me back to my dreaming times.
When I used to read the books about French art de vivre and about the French style – to inspire myself in the cold and boring autumn months back in Norway. When I used to stand in the warm shower, on some dark January morning, before work, and imagine myself on the sunny streets of Barcelona wearing a long summer dress. And when I used to put on some sunny music or Barcelona songs on a rainy summer day in Oslo.
So I decided to share this list with you. Who knows, maybe, there are fellow dreamers out there who need this gentle reminder. That sometimes it happens that dreams come true. And sometimes in much brighter colors that I imagined.
April is a month of surprises. In Germany they used to say “April, April macht was er will” (April makes what he wants). Here in Barcelona they say “April – agues mil” which means “April – thousand of waters”. It hasn’t been a thousand yet, but I can confirm that after some three months of stable sunshine, April is suddenly surprising with many rains.
The weather has been weird the last weeks. I listen to Radio Hamburg and today they promised +21 and total sunshine. While here, in the South, it doesn’t go beyond +17 and the whole week is filled with windy forecasts. I guess, we all need to go to the Northern Germany right now 🙂 Even more ironic for those tourists who came here for the Easter week and discover that the weather is better in their Northern parts back home :))
However, I find this weather quite enjoyable (not the windy part though). When it rained everyday on the Norwegian West coast, it was very frustrating. But when the rain breaks up those weeks of sunshine, I don’t mind 🙂 I welcome the change and get back to those cozy activities I learnt back in Norway. I here I want to share some things that inspire me right now on a rainy day.
I used to have this regular post on my blog – about 5 things I like. It comes especially handy when I don’t know what to write about. I go through my latest photos and choose the images I like. And this time I noticed that those five were actually united by one theme – it was all about light. Hence 5 things I light.
Ok, they are not actually five. As you may know, I am not fabulous with numbers. Last time I wanted to share 10 Most Amazing Tips for Blogging, they turned out to be not 10 but 16. And not amazing but mediocre. And not tips but “bad advice” :)) So well, you have to take this with a pinch of salt, as we say it in Norwegian.
And the first thing I like would be something that rimes with it. A bike. I could not hold myself back from this primitive poetry :)) Because the poetry is what makes this life worth living, even such a basic one 🙂