april, lately

i’m writing this from a place of calm.

something about the weather lately, maybe. every day, noticing new buds, green leaves unfurling, cherry blossoms starting to make themselves known. or possibly it’s because these april weeks have felt really nice and slow – it’s that strange and unexplainable cancellation time of year that many language teachers seem to be feeling right now. life is starting to feel lighter again.

it has meant a lot more leisurely time spent with a nose in the book on cushy sofas, hiding under blankets, nestled between pillows. i’ve been reading michelle obama’s ’becoming’ (after being on the library wait list for months) and the timing seems really appropriate. as she talks about her life’s path, how her career has unfolded and life’s work had become clearer and clearer, i naturally start to think about these things myself. wondering where this time will be on the greater life timeline looking back. even though sometimes things feel so slow (or some days, too fast!) or that i want to be doing more (or less), i do think, at least for me, that so far, all parts and phases of life had great deeper meaning even though they didn’t feel much like it at the time.

if my nose isn’t in a book, it’s studying, taking notes, watching serials in another language. having movie nights out at the cinema or at home – i have recently seen both us and beautiful boy, both which i heartily enjoyed and the latter i might say that i even loved. been singing beautiful love songs by leoš janeček

preparing for our host of spring concerts to come in a month and a half from now.

learning to speak up, to not be quiet even if i’m in an “all czech enviroment” because the alternative is simply to not communicate, to have nobody get to know me. i feel sheepish sometime about my lack of language ability (vs. a fluent native speaker, i know, it’s stupid to even compare myself) but finally, i’m learning english is better than no language at all. communicating somehow is more favorable than not communicating.

i’ve been focusing on eating very nutritional meals this week. with spring here, the selection is getting better and better – i’ve been eating so much homemade wild garlic pesto i’m beginning to get sick of it – but also, i’ve lately been extremely aware of how my body responds depending on what i put into it, and trying to make an effort. it’s true that i am a healthy-eater all around, but sometimes when i’m lazy or tired, i put nutrition on the back burner – trying to have that sort of situation be a nonoccurence anymore. same with beverages! alex told me the other day that he said “water is the ultimate ‘adult beverage’ ”. ain’t that the truth? with all the tea i love to drink (and sometimes tiiiiny little kafičky), water doesn’t seem all that fun, does it?
it’s funny that it seems like the easiest thing to do: put good things into our bodies, but it’s not always seen as so easy or even socially acceptable, honestly. that is something i’m changing now.

(below: a “quick weeknight meal” last week of seared oyster mushrooms in wild garlic pesto, quinoa & rice mix with goodies like fried capers, seeds and nuts sprinkled on top)

i’m also getting ready for gardening this year! in the throws of my own desperation last year, i told myself, if my visa is renewed and i stay here, i am getting a garden plot or allotment. this has been something on my mind as the growing season arrives. might i ask any dear local readers, if you have any leads on an allotment for rent in the area (or a neglected one needing care), please shoot me an e-mail! i’d be eternally grateful. this northwest gal raised in the forest needs to go digging in the dirt and teach myself how to garden and plant (somewhere that the sun actually reaches). i have very kindly been offered use of a friend’s garden plot (!!!) if my allotment dreams don’t come to fruition in the next few weeks. but i have to at least try.

so that’s april, lately. thoughts, beautiful walks out with the dog in the park noticing all the new buds. over-sized sweaters and trench coats. slices of cake. garden planning. little seedlings poking their first stems out. rain drops. grey skies and clouds. a book on a park bench.

a calm mind.

(but also looking forward to a pair of trips in the second half of the month!)

i hope your april is calming as well. enjoy these cool spring days while they last – i’ll do the same.