I asked my father this evening, how was our house at the very beginning. You mean when we moved in the house he turned to me surprised by my question. Yes, when we first moved in, I answered. Well, and then he suddenly started to laugh. Instead of telling me how our house looked like when all 5 of us lived in one single room for a long time, he remembered this story. During the communism almost all working families had some savings. A decent salary couldn't be spent so easily as nowadays, so from time to time when your turn arrived on the waiting list for buying stuff, a new collection of furniture could be purchased. That is how we bought our sofa set. He was still giggling when he went on with the story, how our new sofa ended up on our neighbour's upper floor to be stored for a while and after returning home from a holiday, how we got them back shitted all over with chicken dirt. It turned out that the granny of the house kept the chickens on the empty upper floor of the building and she wasn't told about our new sofa purchase.
I could feel how this story was slowly melting my tension accumulated in the last few weeks. I've recently started with renovation work at my grandmother's old wooden house. As we begun to remove the plaster from the old walls, complete wall sections had to be removed of the rotten tree. The deeper we dug, the amounts of scaly wood increased. I was exasperated at the beginning. My frustration slowly grew stronger and stronger as I wasn't expecting to this. We always have the before plan in our mind, how things should look like and work out in the end. And then we enter the dark labyrinth of reality. Life simply shits on our construction plans. The more sophisticated our plan is, the more smelly is the leading road to it.
Change quickly is the only livable alternative. The quicker you are altering the plans, the better chances you run for not taking anything for granted. For letting in the light, where even the house, that often seems only a dead tool in our possession, becomes energetic again by the fresh rays of the rising sun.
Last September I bought my grandparents house in Polonita (Transylvania-Szeklerland). I grew up as a country girl, I was five when my parents moved closer to my hometown, Odorheiu Secuiesc. Followed by a 30 year old rolling period of life from school to university, from job to love, from heartaches to long and restless abroad journeys in searching for meanings, understanding, relieves, many times just for a place to rest, life took me back to a new start, to my roots in Szeklerland.
I have a favorite Egyptian proverb, that says: Birds of all kinds will end up landing.
While sewing the trap, the spider does a great trip around the net. In the end always gets back to the starting point. And only then it moves out of it again.
"Changing our lifestyles to respect the environment is necessary,...but this does not teach us the skills to regain the lost art of interspecies communication. Horses teach us how to communicate in a manner that seems understandable and in the presence of horses we actually receive feedback. We can make mistakes and try again." Leif Hallberg - Walking the way of the horse
Moments of my volunteer work at Hestegarden, Norway, where I managed to learn about unagressive animal therapy during a few months. To be consecutive with the horse, with less expectations and demands. Be humble but staightforward. Persistency, persistency, take a break, couple of really deep in and out-breath and keep moovin on... :).
I met the real character of the American Miniature Horse while volunteering at Hestegarden in Norway.
I always had this magestic view of the horse, tall, muscular, huge stature not really taking into consideration horses that cannot be "looked upon". One of the biggest surprises that brought me this two months of volunteer work were the amazing mini horses (7 of them!). Among the daily work belonged taking these horses out to the nearby forest pasture on mornings and back on evenings. I started my mini walks by leading only two of them at once. In a few weeks I was surprisingly happy to see that I manage 5 mares leading on leash and they can even obey me. Extremely joyful but blind creatures. Thought until now... Spring started here in Gaular valley and horses are getting the extra hormones too. The only stallion of the stable, the amazing Nino turns often our mornings into real workouts: chasing him around the arena while he is jumping the paddock ropes one by one turns you first into red, then green and finally white, while he is rearing on two legs, laughing into your face with his high peached whining noise.
I started to get more and more comfortable on Luna's back in the last few days. Listening and following her movements was slowly shifting my attention from stiffed hands on the reins and from all those excess feet movement that I continuously made from the sides before.
Today I was about to ride her again, but when I approached the paddock, I suddenly changed my mind. Mumi, the calm fjord stallion hasn't been ridden for a while, and anyway, he has been giving me quite a hard time during our previous riding sessions. Whenever he sensed my unsecure movements was taking me around the hall just as I was a sack of potato, carrying me from one end to the other.
Today, when we started our riding session my mind was still holding the broken glass bowl with falafel that I dropped on the floor half an hour before. After lamenting on it for a while, it moved to the next case: in China someone used my bank account on Valentine's Days, without asking for my permission. And the pictures of the counterfeit kept spinning in my brain over and over again while Mumi was walking below me completely confused in my swirling thoughts. I wonder from how animals are getting all the patience to deal with us people deeply lost in our dwell of thoughts?
Mümi is teaching me authority, firmness and awakeness. With Luna I cannot even imagine not being present all the time. She is not giving me any other choice: be right there in the saddle or I show you quickly the way down to the ground.
When I am too much delured in my thoughts Mümi gets frozen too. He is a fjord, but powerful one. And would be very hard to manage him with force. As an expert chariage horse he is in his full power of doing whatever he wants with you. But he is not that kind. Has immence patience and wisdom. And whispers me all the time: be firm with me but not violent, show me where to go but don't kick and drag me around as a I would be a stupid donkey.
Horses can feel you more than you dare to believe. Whenever I try to ride a new horse, there is always this hidden excitement, this inner fear of how is going to be. And yes, this fear never stops to be there, even when you are an experienced rider (not me!) and you know are aware that you are about to mount a gigantic animal (8-10 times heavier than you!), with a chicken heart.
Luna is in her best riding shape (17 y) and she can easily lie about her age. She looks like a teenager at first encounter. She is quick in her mind and steps, with a vivid and joyful temperament, but having undergone of maltreatment at young age, she is super sensitive and extremely alert to all new riders.
After riding Mumi, an ex-competition and an excelent carriage Norwegian fjord horse, with Luna was a completely new experience. I had hundreds of butterflies in my stomach when I mounted her for the first time. After we took the first steps together, I instinctively had this feeling, she has so much to teach to me. My task was to calm her down as much as possible, as she is generally a very fast moving horse.
After a couple of round walks together in the hall, we started our trot in a tensed manner. I was annoyed and she reacted back exactly the same way. Had quick and insecure steps, ears flat back or turning around in every second like a fleeing zebra surrounded by a pack of jackal. I felt with every step how I am loosing completely my balance and control over her. Linda, who was following us from some distance quickly reacted to the scene: try your best to calm her down. Do yoga, do what you are good at. I didn't have much time to think, I just started to really breathe for the first time: deep long breaths in and out. Just focusing on my breath and looking straight ahead. The reins got loose and I colapsed back, deeply into the saddle. A few heavy moments, complete blackout and Luna changed 180 degree. She slowed radically her steps down, and we suddenly begun to walk and stare in the same direction. It was a split of second. And an imense magic. Just with a couple of balanced in- and exhale. And I never forget her left eye how she slightly gave me a quick glimpse back with a waggish smile on the edge of her mouth: truly, was it that difficult? :).
I met Konsta at Helsinki Tourist Expo last January. His outlook was everything but Finnish: dark complexion, greekish eyebrows, clean and glowing look. I really giggle in myself about the general Finnish man stereotype: blonde, cold, reserved and rather shy. Perhaphs all the non-typical Finns are rarely seen around as they live at the countryside :). Konsta created with a simple but marvelous invention: pellet heated smoke sauna, a well-behaved stove, a real tamagotchi. It can be fed from cell phone and never gets itself burned down. An invention simply ahead of its time.
A few months later he joined my Transylvanian tour with his wife, Kristiina. I am blushing again on my mind, how I created secreatly this Finnish leader stereotype in my mind of all females from Finland. Kristiina is just like a Finnish version of Meryl Streep, who has been way too busy to be nomitated for an Oscar. So far :).
I week ago I had the honour to pay a visit with friends to Loimaa (Western Finland). They invited us to their home. When Finnish people invite you in their households and home sauna, it is a clear sign that you gained their friendship.
If I was lulling myself before with the image, that country life in Finland in less demanding in work and persistance, than in Transylvania, here I quickly changed my mind. They work from daylight to dawn, earn their living from different incomes. Recicle, invent new things from dismantled stuff, save where they can. Their smoke sauna (amazing!!) was chosen the best smoke sauna in Finland 2015. Later on we tried our the ice pool and the hot tub made from an old dairy milk tank.
Rarely encounter such a happy couple in the materialistic everydays. Their balance and harmony made the whole atmosphere calm and radiant. And in the pleasant smoke and moist heat of the sauna we emptied our busy minds. Honest, delicious local food served at the the end. Go and to try out their hospitatlity. But take the risk to get enslaved by their company and sauna. Hearty thanks Kristiina and Konsta and namaste :).
The happiest surprise ever in my horse riding career was riding without horseshoes in North Norway. In Romania I could never have imagined a trail ride without that pit-a-pat sound of the iron shoe, and though the ground usually swallows this harsh noise, you just simply feel from the saddle, your horse is standing on iron sole. The simple idea that a horse can also run barefoot, and it does so well, even better than when is wearing shoes, made me really laugh on the flash, when we catch ourselves barefeet or clothless and enjoy enourmously the feeling of nakedness. Try to put sometimes yourself into the shoes of your horse and if you have the chance, try out the barefeet horse riding.