Sunday, May 5, 2013

Six Bundles of Bamboo:

As the weeks pass, my words have given way to action, as my body seems to constantly be flitting about; running 20K almost every weekend, cleaning out the closet for spring (and filling in a few gaps with some new threaded-items, while carelessly forgetting others in the city, like my Burberry scarf), and shaping up the balcony–itself sprawling southward, with new plants, and such. Yes; the past few months have been defined by movement. Yet oddly, that movement isn't taking place within Amsterdam's more pleasure oriented areas; it's happening via my daily route to the studio–on my bike or by tram, depending on the day, my soundness of sleep, and the weather–through half of the city, though rides through this city could be seen as pleasurable, by some. Myself included on good days.

Recently, while in Chicago, a great friend who lives in the city by the lake inquisitively asked, 'So. Do you, like, ride your bike to work everyday and stuff? Like do you actually use it to get around the city?' Ok course! It's so puzzling, to me now, how the many aspects of my life in Amsterdam–that present themselves to me, or that I choose to engage with–on a daily basis (like recycling, everything; cycling everywhere; taking the 'tram'; going to the bakery; etc!), are not aspects of my life that I think of as special, or European. But if I look back, and think... hard... at one time, I wanted to move back to Europe for the cobblestones, the cheeses, the history and the progress taking place now.

Sometimes I overlook the aspects that compose the backdrops of my life, for the foundations of my life, which they are not. I must remind myself of that. I brought Amsterdam to myself and I enabled and set into motion, the backdrop my life is lived against. It's a beautiful backdrop, and I'm happy that I had both the ambition and courage to to come here.

Like the three olive trees that this winter stood in my living room, (and which have, since the return of spring, resumed their stance on the balcony), I too have been placed back outside. The dark days of winter are over for this latitude of Europe. At least the weather seems to have led the city's citizen's to believe just that; well, at least me. As such, two weekends ago the balcony was 'refreshed', 'renewed', and rejuvenated. Luscious is one way to describe the entourage of lovely gray hued pots that systematically align across the edge of the 6m long open-portion of the balcony–overflowing with green–while walls of bamboo flank the edges, in hopes of turning this well sized outdoor urban garden, into an outdoor urban jungle. Tiki-torches included.

Thus, the six bundles of bamboo have taken precedent over the three olive trees. The bamboo, being tender and new, needs mending to the most; the olive tress have taken the back seat, you see. And so is life: bigger, larger, and grander visions become abound, once the smaller and pint-sized plans are complete. Our balcony is no exception; freshly budding greens have transformed its feel. No longer confined to small pots, no longer trapped by their former homes, the three replanted olive trees are sure to grow amongst the new nutrients they'll now find below. Stemming tiny olives, are those trees, whose size will not exceed anything larger than a garbanzo bean. Alongside the three trees, sprouting tall and proud, grows the lavender; purple and smooth, velvety and stern, chaotic yet composed, and glamorous, all around.

These six clusters of bamboo, though, are wild in size and will eventually reach a height of three meters. Once true, they will be wonderful to listen to, as the wind rustles through their oversized leaves–as it already tends to do–while the sun beats down from above to strengthen their stance. Like the bamboo, I am strengthening my stance, in life; I am finding that my former dreams and goals have now been achieved–life goals. Life goals at 27! Were my goals not ambitious enough, or am I simply living my life to the fullest and enjoying everything around me that I've pulled into my sphere of the world? The latter, of course. Life goals can always be rethought, and I'm doing just that, right now, as I have been, over the past few weeks and months.

Like the bamboo, I'm only going to grow bigger, wiser, and stronger–both mentally and physically. I must prepare for this phase, yet also ensure that it happens. I only have one body, and as far as I know, won't be getting another one anytime soon. So I'm learning to love mine, all over again.

Six bundles of bamboo have found a new home on my balcony; as they grow, so do I.