Why I am crying in the Lisbon airport

LisboaSo, here I am pulling my black just-within-airline-regulation-size suitcase behind me and weaving my way through the Lisbon airport, on the way to Milan, crying.

Which surprises me in some ways, since I feel more a sense of elation and joy than sadness after 13 magical days in Portugal, though there is also a kind of underlying grief. I realize that I am once again experiencing this special flavor of lovesick grieving reserved for Viaggiatori, that is, Travelers. You know, traveling: not as a temporary trip but as a way of life. The ones like me, and maybe you too, who move through life following the pull of the heart into motion, oriented by an inner compass that magnetically gives the direction toward the right place, at the right time, with the right people, in the perfection of the present moment, in the saturated fullness of being here now.

And sometimes this pull carries me to improbable destinations, where the southern Mediterranean sun saturates my skin with heat and glowing light, immediately soothed by autumn breeze. Where moist, freshly picked olives slip through my fingers as we corral them fast into buckets, the dark purple-grey ones a ripe contrast to the hard shades of, well, olive green. Where ten of us barely fit into the back of a rusty pickup truck bed along with 6 ladders and a collection of rakes, shovels, pitchforks and tarps, bouncing around, holding onto the sides and waving to farmers and passers by.

wavesWhere ocean waves in pure aquamarine splash up the pristine sandy shore through emerald reflections and crystalline white foam, and after swimming naked in the breathless cold water, I perch on the rock shelves observing the strata of earth in a rainbow of fierce iron reds and golden yellow, as the heat of sunlight dries my skin beaded with salt water.

Where clear lucid eyes are still glowing and sweet laughter still singing in the echo of memory, of friendships both ancient and freshly made. Souls found and rediscovered, reunited after… how much time? And every gift of presence, breath, sound, movement, stillness, storytelling, tea service and love… returns in an instant in the infinite flow, of gratitude, generosity.

Memories of community dinner time, marina coffee break, mango trees in the greenhouse dripping with heavy fruit, the cherimoya seeds embedded in soft white flesh, and the dangling red beads of magnolia blossoms.

AlmendresWhere I dance in stone circles, millennial matriarchal healing circles and more recent ones holding the power of cosmic archetypes. Sunrise, ring of power. Danced prayer. Water and reawakening.

Ritual night fire, white sage and red blessings. Warm chestnuts and washes of starlight.

Temple space surrounded with quiet woods, opening the heart through spirals and candlelight.

I realize I am crying because I have fallen in love, not even with a particular person, place or thing really; it’s more like being in love with the ripe lushness of everything, the infinite delicacy of being free, feeling so lit up and alive. A breath of fire, breathing through the journey, over fertile farmed landscawaterpes and rolling green hillsides, to the edge of the ocean and deep inside. Orienting hearts, trees.

So, I wipe away the tears and divert my eyes as I move forward in the airport security line, distracting myself from the emotion of flying away yet again, from one world to another, from home to a home away from homeViaggiare. means constantly arriving saying hello and goodbye and see you again sometime – some lifetime – and in the meantime “io sono con te, sempre,” all in the same breath. I shake off the tears in the rushed chaos of removing belts and shoes, getting my toothpaste tube inspected, and listening to a cacophony of Italian and Portuguese conversation. Finding the Departures monitor. Checking the gate number. Ticket and passport in hand, to remind myself of where I am going and who I have been. Knowing that the journey is always the destination, and every departure an act of closure and celebration, a flight into the pure infinite azure sky of rebirth and new possibility, new love, new synergy, new dreams.

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