Holidays are for…

JOYFUL GRATITUDE #191

Lying on my bed in the middle of the afternoon, feeling the breeze come through the open door to the balcony and reading uninterrupted for several hours.

Not setting an alarm and being woken up by the sound of a grumpy and insistent jay.

Having a spontaneous skype call with a friend in the middle of the day.

Taking a calm evening walk lost in thought as grey clouds slowly fill the sky and being cooled by the thick raindrops falling lazily down on my way home.

Walking through rows of trees laden with apples and pears, carefully choosing the fruit that look ripe and unspoilt, then turning them gently upside down until they break off neatly into my hand. Filling my tote bags full of them, as the smell of rotting fruit wafts up from the grass, black and orange butterflies and wasps happily gorging themselves at my feet.

Reserving a time-slot and popping on my face-mask to go see a photography exhibition and being able to linger in front of the snapshots I like best.

Exploring the Beatrixpark at night and searching for the perfect spot, away from the light pollution, to watch lightning majestically rip through the sky.

Medicinal herb garden

Pulmonaria officinalis - lungwort

JOYFUL GRATITUDE #127

Recently during a walk with two dear friends, we discovered there is a lovely garden with medicinal plants in the Beatrixpark in Amsterdam Zuid. I am so glad that after nearly 13 years of living in this city, I still keep stumbling upon hidden gems by chance. Surrounded by hedges, it is a peaceful space in the park and there are some benches to just sit and relax, a perfect spot to soak up the quiet atmosphere and listen to the birds.

There’s a wide array of plants and short explanations of what they can be used to heal.  Featured above is lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis), a plant traditionally used to treat lung problems and chest infections. It was said that the spots on the leaves looked like diseased lungs… to me it just looks like a beautiful pattern:)