Oh hai there friends.
This WHV covers the weeks from Monday July 29 to Sunday August 25.
This period had more than its fair share of lows and highs.
On Saturday, August 3 we lost one of our clan mothers, quite unexpectedly.
It's hard to find the words to describe the sudden emptiness left behind by a loved one.
It was a painful reminder of how much of our experience, and of our selves, are built upon our bonds with those around us.
It was also a reminder of how much more deliberately and intently we should dive into and merge with the atoms of each and every moment that we get to spend with our fellow humans.
This year I again had the exquisite pleasure of bringing a short summer visit to my Dutch family.
Although I sometimes wish that I had eidetic memory so that I could savour this experience more accurately, I do seem to be looking back at a perfect few days.
The weather was typically Dutch: a tad grey, with some rain now and then. So when the sun made a brief appearance now and then, our enjoyment was only intensified.
Each hour and each minute was squeezed for every drop of experience and togetherness that it had to offer.
Each moment was filled to the brim with our shared humanness.
Dutch family if you are reading this: Thank you.
Somewhere during the past three weeks I added another birthday to my scarily growing collection.
When I woke up on the relevant weekend morning, I had made the deliberate decision to fill the day with as many as possible of my favourite things.
I started the day with a run.
You would probably not say it if you looked at my running frequency over the last few weeks (“winter weather” is all I can say), but this is definitely one of my favourite activities ever. (I just checked: It seems I have now racked up just over 1000km on sandals, and about 200km on bare feet.)
After that, I cooked up some pretty respectable Indian cuisine for my inner circle, that is: genetic progenitor, genetic co-offspring (sibling man, you have to keep up!), genetic offspring units and life partners.
There's something really special about having one's peeps at the kitchen table with good wine while one, also armed with some of the aforementioned good wine, does one's best not to embarrass the recipe one has meticulously selected for the occasion.
(In this case the journey was great, and even the dhal-based destination was nothing to sneeze at!)
Finally, I made a point of getting out at least one blog post. It turned out to be a fairly technical job, but it checked the relevant box.
As I was working through the list, my real-time life satisfaction meter (what do you mean you don't have one?) soon became stuck at the 12/10 mark, at which point I just stopped looking and focused everything I have on the people. 🤗