I’m not a big traveller and I’ve often wondered why.
I know what I’m missing – opportunities to explore other cultures, chances to experience new climates, occasions to marvel at the creations of this world, and openings into new ways of thinking.
Yet, I stay home more often than not.
Saint Augustine said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”
I feel my travel shortcomings glaring at me in the light of such words.
On the other hand – (and there always is another hand when it comes to quotations) – Confucius said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
My one-page-wonder self is comforted by these words because they give me insight into the reasons why you’re more likely to find me in the back yard than sipping espresso in an Italian courtyard.
Yesterday, for instance, I glanced up at the iris whose roots I was freeing of couch grass and noticed a glistening droplet of rain on its petals. Glad for a chance to stretch my gardening back, I went inside, put my macro lens on my camera and headed back out to the flowers to explore. Oh, the valleys and caverns I saw; what populations of insects; what melodies and scents I heard and smelled. I came close to learning a new language – that one which has no words, just gestures – pollen given freely in exchange for a stopover from a winged visitor, haven offered silently within delicate petals.
Time passed and I stayed behind in this amazing world of colour and light. I would move millimetres and discover a new vista, then wait while the wind waved this latest landscape in front of my lens, shaking loose new droplets of water and tantalizing me with the thought of what I might see when the breeze ceased.
When I finally emerged from my travels to Iris Land, I felt energized and inspired; I felt like I had given my heart to the place; I felt like I had read a full book and loved every word.