“Hungry Soul Hungry Body”
As my eyes opened and welcomed the new day, the pelting rain and rumbling thunder spoke unquestionably of the stormy weather that Saturday morning. It seemed fitting, as my thoughts clashed liked the darkened clouds. Andrew’s offer to attend his lecture for a few hours that morning, would have accommodated my limited sitting time ~ perfect. Yes, I desired to grab the opportunity to be in the energy of compassion, passion and hope, just like a child would jump for candy. But, even though the nasty weather seemed to support the indoor activity of Andrew’s lecture, a soft voice whispered clearly within ~ keep your word.
After many years of walking the challenging inner pathways, I knew my guidance was unmistakable. The pact I made to venture to Tarpon Springs that day had to be kept. Despite how ominous it looked, and my yearning for more “soul food,” I relaxed into the plans we decided upon. Carrying the joy from Friday’s lecture, and with a deep trust in my inner promptings, we prepared to be Greek for the day.
When we checked out of the hotel, the humidity and heat, along with the winds and rain made Bonni question our decision for the afternoon trip. At this point I knew without a doubt, that the Divine had a lesson planned for me ~ I was not skipping class.
As we headed north to Tarpon, the clouds towards the Gulf of Mexico were blacker than a crows feather, and the ~ Noah build an ark rain ~ laughed at us. As we rolled along, that cartoon devil on the shoulder, smoked his cigar, and tried to planted the obvious doubts. Listen kid.
“The rain is going to drench both of you; I want a show of hands from your vain nature.”
“Plus, this waterfall will ruin your wheelchair motor, babe! You are nothing without those sporty wheels!”
“How about the humidity and heat? You can not take ten minutes in this tropical hell!” When is the last time you were outside at high noon in August? Stupid!”
“Why is an old Polish gal like you hungry for Greek cuisine? Think about pierogies, doll, and maybe a stuffed cabbage or two.”
“Come on, head home, you need to save a buck or two. Think ~ new pair of shoes!”
The more the doubts crept in, the bigger the smile on my face. I had been here before, and we were not turning towards home ~ onward to Tarpon.
Half of the way there, I spotted a teenie weenie patch of blue off in the distance. Was I seeing a Mirage? Must of been, there were only dark clouds lining the sky, after a second look. We did keep the air conditioning on Arctic to maintain a comfortable environment, and before long we crossed into the city limits. As we cruised around looking for the main street, the heavy rain eased to a fine drizzle, and we found an ideal place to park ~ next to the sponge docks.
Bonni moved towards the back of the van, where I was lying, and slid me into my chair. During that process the rains completely stopped, and we smiled gratefully and commented on the divine timing. To our surprise, when we exited the van, the air was cool and minus the heavy humidity. I sat there in shock; I found myself completely comfortable. As the enlivening breezes swept over my skin, I had to remind myself that it was August. Instead of searching for the nearest air conditioned oasis, I had freedom to roll the streets ~ a miracle!
We were delighted with nature’s gift, but hungry as well. So, before we left the parking lot, we approached a local elder for restaurant suggestions. Our question tortured the lifetime resident. If he favored one, he would betray a friendship or maybe a family member. With a smile on his chiseled face, he named several, and pointed in the direction for each. There were two I recognized, so with the help of eenie, meenie, minie and moe, we picked Costa’s, and in comfort we strolled to the restaurant.
The black clouds starred at us from every direction, but did not pour upon us. It was a pleasure to be out on the streets in the heart of such a lively and lovely community. The sound of carefree Greek music filtered into the city’s air from the restaurants, as well as the scents of Mediterranean food and baked goods. HOOPA!
Costa’s did not disappoint. The dishes were fresh and perfectly prepared, coaxing our taste buds to dance to the spirited music. With a sparkle matching the atmosphere, the waiters and waitresses were primed to answer every question. We enjoyed each morsel, and partook in a wine that complimented the food and our mood ~ HOOPA!
We wandered back out on the walkways, and although the black clouds still hovered ever so closely, they held back the contents, and the humidity and heat still hid from the streets of Tarpon Springs. As we explored the shops and interacted with the locals, I glowed. For me, being outdoors for more than ten minutes in the summer in Florida~ does not happen. Yet today, I rolled the streets, enjoyed the shops, joked with the locals, and Bonni and I were escorted by mild temperatures and cooling breezes. The sponge boats old and new lined the docks adding an interesting seascape to the whimsy of the storefronts ~ unique.
We played for two hours with full bellies and happy hearts. There were men enjoying each others company over a card game, while smoke drifted from their Cuban cigars. Women sat outside their shops laughing, and waving tourist into their cubicle of trinkets and fineries. The coffee shops were filled as the bake goods tempted and lured most everyone inside. Although we did not want to leave the festive town, it was time to relieve the pressure on my butt. While rolling back to the van, my eyes took in, one more time, the faces, facades and the boats that told their story of life on the waters. It all appealed to me.
When we reached the van, we were reminded that this day was a blessing, as the humidity returned, and dropped over us like a moist blanket. Shorty after, the rains that stood back, and allowed us to browse this quaint community, fell once again from the canopy of clouds. In that moment, we acknowledged how the whole day was designed for my comfort and our enjoyment. The stage was set perfectly, not by a stage crew, but by a divine hand.
On the way home I pondered these two exhilarating days. I thought about my struggle to keep my promise, and it made me cry. It hit me more than ever, that keeping our word was so very important. We must always be mindful of the words we choose, and the people we deliver them to. For if we were stripped of everything, we would want to have the integrity of our word.
My perfect day was not a coincidence; it was lovingly designed by the Divine. The lesson ~ no matter what things look like ~ when the inner voice guides us, waste no time with doubts or fears. Listen, and in this case it clearly spoke ~ keep your word. On Saturday, heaven stepped in and with the help of mother nature, the weather was manipulated to show me the importance of promises delivered.
As we drove, another thought crossed my mind as well ~ live in balance. On Friday evening we attended a feast for the soul. Every word nourished us spiritually. On Saturday afternoon we ate the delicious Greek cuisine, and had a playful afternoon. It was a balanced two days. We arrived home without a ~ hungry soul or hungry body. Each was lovingly feed.