Hello Dear Hearts,
A little over a year later, we’ve finally taken our honeymoon… how are you finally rewarding yourself?
Anthony wrote such a beautiful letter to his community, I wanted to share it with you.
My love to you,
Dear Breathing Family,
I have spent the most wonderful week in Morocco. Amy and I finally took the time for our honeymoon, after being married for over a year. It has been a week of walking down cobbled lanes, being called “Ali Baba” by the hawkers and vendors from the street stalls, and afternoons sitting on our roof terrace under a cool sun and a cooler breeze, pretending it’s not winter.
There has also been time for meditation, study and spending time together without feeling the need to ‘do something’, to attack the never ending list of to-do’s, which like Hydra, seem to breed two heads for each one cut off.
As often happens when I slow down, the past catches up, and I have spent a couple of days in bed nursing a cold. There’s nothing like bedrest to confront myself, to judge myself for not being productive and ‘in the saddle’. But sometimes the body wins, and reminds me in the most gentle of ways that rest is good, a necessary part of life.
People stared at us strangely on our second day here in Essaouira, as we brought back a trolley overflowing with over 100 kilos of apples, cucumbers, lemons, celery, salad, and ginger. A bent old man pushed the cart, and navigated the alleyways that were only wide enough to accommodate the cornucopia. I can’t imagine who they thought we were, tourists with enough vegetables to feed a family for 3 weeks!
But I am blessed to be married to Amy, a woman of such fervour and commitment to health that within 2 days, tired of Couscous and Tajine, we were proud owners of a dubious looking slow juicer and this huge pile of vegetables, not to mention over 120 litres of mineral water to wash them with.
The next morning our wonderful helper Khajira arrived to clean the house, only to be taught how to wash the food in hydrogen peroxide, chop them up and to produce some of the most wonderful fresh juice I have tasted. As I rested I could hear Amy communicating without a word of shared language, her encouraging sounds floating up the staircase along with the slow whine of the juicer.
It’s a curious form of wealth, health measured in the numbers of bottles filled and ready for drinking, but wealth it is. My body is grateful for the break from having to chew, swallow and digest whatever I have thrown at it.
As we sit on the roof again, we speak of Khajira, her earnestness and willingness to learn. Amy tells me she asked if she could take home the fibre from the juicer, no doubt to be used in a productive way. Amy gives her juice to drink herself, and Khajira’s quick flash of a smile shows she enjoys the taste. Amy gives her 2 more glasses to drink, and now as a habit each day, shares with her as well some chopped vegetables to take home with her.
How wonderful it is to admire my wife. Each movement she makes, each engagement with humanity, is an attempt to give love. It’s not always recognised and sometimes refused, but even so she guides with humility and compassion.
Today we spoke of giving Khajira the juicer at the end of our stay. It reminds me of a time just after we first met in Ubud, Bali, some 9 years ago. We had both been buying coconuts from Wayan, a stout mother of 5 beautiful children. She would carry coconuts (they are heavy!) in a basket on her head, sometimes walking a kilometre to deliver 3 or 4 of them, a permanent smile of joy on her. At least a couple of her kids would follow barefoot (and a bit bedraggled) behind her. I had such respect for that woman!
We taught Wayan how to make juice, bought her a juicer and voilà, the juice movement of Ubud began. Wayan’s juice bar is now a little restaurant, and in Ubud today juice is on just about every menu in town.
Somehow I can see that happening here, but that’s not the purpose for giving Khajira the juicer. It’s really a simple thank you to her for her care and diligence. But who knows?
With love to you all from a happily married man!