Monday, September 7, 2015

Ebb and Flow...of life in Saigon

Daydreaming...along the Saigon River

It is hard to believe that I last wrote on this blog at the beginning of June. I had good intentions of writing a few posts before leaving for a summer trip to the USA but like all good intentions, something else seemed to take precedent. But I am back, after a ten week visit that was all consumed with building a house...and visiting family and friends and relaxing at a cabin along a mountain ridge between trips to the local pond where I magically disappeared from all reach as I glided along in my kayak. It was on the pond, between the strokes, that I thought of my travels along the Saigon River. I wished I could take my kayak and glide along as effortlessly on the Saigon River as I did on the pond in the mountain region of New Hampshire. I will hold that thought for a maybe someday, if the conditions are right...and I can find a kayak. 

Last paddle of the summer...New Hampshire.

Until then, I am going to focus on settling back into Saigon. A friend asked how it feels to go from a peaceful country retreat to the beep beep, bang bang...craziness of  Saigon. I say 'bang, bang' because from every side of our home for as far as the eye can see there seems to be a construction project of some shape or form. The amazing thing about the construction process here is that they work 24/7...with the same intensity and noise during those 24 hours. I am going to admit that it is a bit unnerving at times but that is only because I am just a few days off the plane so to speak. As time goes by, you absorb the sounds and sights until you accept them, until you do not hear them anymore. You adjust and's just the way in Vietnam. 

Ho Chi Minh City is bustling and busy and crazy and wild and so rich in life and culture that you can't help but embrace it...but it takes a few days to get acclimated and the best way to do that is to take it in slowly with open eyes and acceptance. Fight it and you are done for.

So...I am taking it in slowly,
moving with the ebb and flow 
as I assimilate back into life in Vietnam.

It's the little things 
that bring you back into the fold...

Like the curbside barber and the man 
playing games on his phone as the blade 
moves steadily along his face.

and the smile that you can't resist 
as you notice that
the flowers planted before you left...
are gracing the walls of your home 
at a pace faster than you imagined.

and that first whiff of steam coming from a 
bowl of homemade chicken pho.
The one you secretly wished for on more 
than one occasion from a cabin
along a mountainside in New Hampshire
 for the past ten weeks.

You smile as you always do when you see the 
feats of skill with each passing motorbike. 
They stack them high and hope for the best 
and in most cases it works.

You wonder if you should do it or not...take that
100th photo of a lotus flower growing in your garden 
and post it on Instagram for the 100th time...
and you do,
just because you love lotus flowers and hope
your followers do too.

You can't resist words of wisdom and decide
the relevance of these words is spot on 
to what you are feeling now.
Be the Windmill...
yes, I shall be the Windmill.
I can be be the Windmill, 
I am the Windmill.

The winds of change are blowing through...
one day at a time.
I can be the Windmill, because I have a 
happy Buddha watching over me. 
And when you have a happy Buddha 
watching over you...
anything is possible. 

The mind is everything,
what you think you become.



1 comment: