Madeira and the passionate Buddhism
(Listen to the music while reading blog post. And sorry, Peti, I can almost hear you whining that I’ve chosen a song from the band Margaret Island for this post.)
You might remember my journey from last summer when I did camping on Lofoten islands, Norway. Finally I didn’t write in the blog about one of the most important part of the trip: a heavy rain that lasted for four long days. And about the inner journey I experienced during these days, from the worst girly hysteria to the deepest relief.
Now I have déja vu. I moved to Madeira island three weeks ago and since then it has been almost constantly raining. But it was raining heavily also on the Azores islands last year, then later in Norway and I could count many more. So it seems a tiny little clever raincloud (or rather a big fat angry cyclone) is right after me: wherever I’m going it comes with me to make me get soaked wet.
Madeira, the island of eternal spring, my ass!
(Happy times. There waves are approximately 14m high in the port of Calheta.)
The interesting thing is, you know, that I’ve been there before. I had my own fight once, I was offended and then I became Buddha, found the inner peace, the meaning of life, the universe and everything (thanks Douglas Adams!). I already should know that a) it can’t rain forever (thanks Áron!), b) there is no such thing as good weather or bad weather, we are the ones who give label on everything and make sunshine a positive thing while rain a negative one, and c) rain is our friend: it gives us time to organize different thoughts we otherwise would avoid to do, making ourselves busy with anything but organizing them (swimming in the ocean, having barbeque parties around, pub crawling for ‘cultural’ reasons etc.).
Bonus point of view: there are only a few things more pleasant in this kind of heavy rain than what the band sings about in the song above: ‘If it’s raining, a body is absorbed in another body, wishes to make love while soaked to the skin’. Okay, you can cuddle with a good book as well. Sure thing it’s not the same but it gets half the score at least.
(Yep, it’s ice. And it’s not poured here from my mojito.)
But back to the subject. So no matter how hard the former experience of rain hit me, everything happened in the same way. As I wrote in the last post, first I had to understand the slowness of rural life on Madeira. I wanted to fight, make progress, solve everything by the ego. But nothing succeeded, there was no progress at all.
On my very second day of my staying a furious wind brought the rain and was trying to ruin rooftops, break sugar cane and went on the nerves of the locals. Or at least on my nerves. I went crazy because I felt there was nothing to do. I wanted to leave this behind. My dear friend, Barna told me at this point, that I might have achieved a certain level of Buddhism. He calls it ‘passionate’ zen Buddhism, referring to the fact that I go crazy every time before finding my peace, but somehow I have the feeling that this is only a euphemism for something… well… else.
So after a stormy welcome there came a couple of sunny days, a bit of swimming in the ocean, a few cocktails and some amazing sunsets to make us unsuspicious so that the weather could hit us even more.
And finally something clicked to its place in me. I don’t fight anymore, I don’t run against the wind, I simply go with it instead. And I enjoy this. In the morning I wake up for the sounds of nature: the wind pushes million raindrops to the windows. I run to the bakery car coming to the village and manage to buy pastel de nata (a Portuguese delight) finally. I make a hot tea and joyfully watch the steam coming up in serpentines. I bury myself deep under my sleeping bag and get lost with my book. I’m thinking, I’m meditating, I’m learning lessons about life. And about myself.
(Miracle of nature: raindrops glimmering on a spider net as lights on a Christmas tree.)
I go out to take some photos of the raging storm. As I run from a building to the other I get completely soaked wet (in cca. five seconds). I let the water drop from my hair to the face, at least it washes the salty spray I got before. I grin. I dry up and then sing out loud trying not to understand that the neighbours might think my voice is not exactly suitable for the Scala in Milano. I let the power of the storm and wind affect me because I know they bring me the change I need. I kindly ask the wind to blow out of me everything I don’t need anymore: the longing to the past and the doubts of the future – to give space to this island finally and what it has to offer. I’m not fighting anymore. I’m going with the flow.
(No escape, no exception: everybody gets wet.)
And now a moral wisdom would come, along with a positive and happy end. But it won’t come. It’s raining, the wind blows like crazy and it’s quite cold. It’s the case, no matter if we cry or laugh. So we might as well love it.