After five years absence Coen and I traveled back to Portugal last September. For a holiday. Back to the country of saudades (the country where the longing for something that might never have existed, rules) with the thought that we could now go there without being ambushed by feelings like: “why on earth did we ever leave this place?”
This thought appeared to be a mockery, like most thoughts are. Imagined, to convince the human being of the point it is trying to make regarding the choice and to stifle the feelings related to that choice. And the nicest thing about being human is that everything can change instantly. Provided that the fear of “flying” has disappeared, feelings have been allowed in and consequently the thoughts that turn a human being into a lame duck, are being shut off.
What a human being thinks seldom relates to the truth.
The undulating scenery of Alentejo passed by when it happened. All at once I noticed a dead silence in my head. Not one thought. I could feel myself sitting. I looked at my feet to see if I was still there. Yes, I was in the car next to Coen. I looked at him. He looked at me. My mouth dropped while the saudades of this country entered into my body through each pore. The frequency of the land seemed equal to my human one. While this ecstatic experience took place my head remained silent. I felt one with myself, with Coen, with everything around me, and nature. This seemed to go on for hours. Again I looked at Coen. In that moment we both knew that this was the country to be.
Later the thoughts re-appeared and notwithstanding many conversations with old friends on the spot and with each other, those thoughts never gained a firm foothold. We made endless list with pros and cons. The only cons had to do with children, grandchildren and family and friends. And these are the most important arguments to not move anymore in the ever-advancing life until it stops. Even the 2008 crisis related arguments that made us return to Holland in 2011 were not valuable anymore, having a modest pension now.
So with gratitude Coen and I move with the motion offered to us by life: we will be returning to Portugal. There we will have enough time and space to welcome children, grandchildren and family and friends to a fantastic stay in lovely nature. And when you all are not with us, I will have time to write a family novel that has been been in my head since years. I think.
We have no moving date yet. That depends on the sale of our apartement in The Hague. It will be on sale as off next week and it looks like we will be living in Portugal again in 2016.
To be continued.