My courtyard is tiny, but I think I’ve told you that before.
Despite the limiting view of the walled space, the pocket handkerchief piece of sky above, it still seems expansive somehow. Why?
I have written before about my awe of the big skies in outback, Australia. Vaulting domes of deep blue, vast and glittering ribbons of Milky Way. Such skies give me a reference point, a bearing in the greater scheme of things. They remind me how small I am. And yet, how connected.
This morning at breakfast with friends, we spoke of travel. My friends are inveterate travellers. I love their stories. I mused on the different reasons we have for travelling.
For some it’s a compulsion. A thirst to satiate curiosity about the world, intensified as our three score and ten approaches. Or sometimes people travel to reunite with geographically remote family. For others, it seems motivated by FOMO (fear of missing out). And for others again, it is driven by status, to be able to list the places they’ve been.
Hard to imagine, but I have known of well-travelled people who remained unchanged by exposure to different environments and diverse cultures, to alternatives ways of living and being human. But then, should moving from one luxury venue to another, presented with sanitized versions of a place be thought of as tourism rather than travel?
I have been watching a common fish-bone fern (ephrolepis cordifolia) travel over an ugly retaining wall by my gate. I didn’t plant it. An opportunistic variety, it has found the location conducive to its flourishing and decided to take root. I hope it eventually covers the entire wall.
Like the fern, I seem prone to rambling this morning, my thoughts travelling over new ground. To return to the subject of views, expansive and otherwise, my point is that ‘space’ is between your ears, all in your head. A tiny space can be a haven or a cell hell. A large one, mind expanding or intimidating. Whatever, and wherever you choose it to be.
When I am fortunate enough to travel, I’m grateful for a mindset that takes me farther in my imagination. When I take in the view of my tiny courtyard, the lack of wide vistas does not limit my vision. Either way, like the travelling fish fern, I work hard at flourishing, because that’s the way I choose to view the view I have
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” -Henry Miller