Why? Mind or body? Home and heart…

Yesterday as we walked the souks deciding where to dine, these varying rooflines of a courtyard caught my eye.

I’ve been awake since 5:00 am after Mr. Rooster began his crowing for the day which continues until sundown.  Without the option of puttering around the kitchen, I stay in bed, reading my mindless but entertaining activities on my phone.

At 7:00 am, Tom started laughing in his sleep.  Who laughs aloud in their sleep?  Only Tom, my personal Good Humor Man.  Quietly, I whisper, “What’s so funny?”

Through more fits of laughter, he mutters in a groggy voice “I was sleeping and laughing?”  We both laughed.  He proceeds to tell me about his funny dream, about his former job of 42 years on the railroad and the laughing that was a part of his everyday. 

We’re curious what lies behind the many doors in the Medina.  Are tourists occupying this riad or locals?

As we lay there, in idle chatter, the call to prayer and the rooster’s crow wafts through the air simultaneously and we laugh some more. 

As the high from the laughter runs through me, rampant thoughts run through my mind as I finally get up ready to start my day, Tom following behind.  I ask myself, “What am we doing in Morocco?  Why are we so comfortable being nomads traveling from country to country?  Why does it not bother either of us that we haven’t seen a doctor or a dentist in almost over 16 months with nary a concern or worry?”

The answer is not simple.  It doesn’t necessarily go back to the days when we decided to embark on this year’s long journey as we acquired a newly discovered adventuresome streak perhaps meant to defray our fears of aging and becoming complacent.

There are endless styles of roof lines throughout the Medina.

Our reasons have evolved from a desire to “step outside the box” to those more meaningful in our minds; a profound desire to challenge ourselves, to experience life on our terms, and to feel “free.” 

In reality, don’t we all spend the better part of our lives performing tasks and conforming to a strict code of expectation with the ultimate intent of providing ourselves with comfort, security and a sense of well being?  Our lives are no different.

This kitten was tiny, no more than 60 days old, on its own to search for food and shelter.

The thought of avoiding the responsibility of placing the green trash can in the correct spot in the driveway each week to comply with yet another “rule” motivated us. Avoiding the necessity of blowing the snow to clear the driveway late at night after a long workday motivated us.  The avoidance of weekends and vacation days spent at Home Depot with yet another project in mind, motivated us.  For us, there was no joy in these tasks.

But, there was joy in the laughter, the companionship, the sense of exploration, the discoveries in new surroundings, the meeting new people, the learning and the stimulating our brains in a way that we’d dismissed long ago as mainly for the young. 

After hundreds of years of wear and tear, the stones crumble in certain areas, leaving an open spot for trash,  Overall, the souks are very clean.

Our bodies continue to age as an inevitable aspect to life itself as we occasionally grumble to one another about a newly discovered wrinkle or dark spot that magically appeared overnight.  But, our brains bespeak the delights of the young, full of wonder, excitement and adventure, none of which we foolishly embarked upon placing our aging bodies at risk, ensuring that we may be able to continue on.

It’s ironic that both of us were in the same state of mind to be primed for this life we live and yet, we’d never once discussed “traveling the world” in our old lives.  It only became a mutual “dream” the day we decided to do it. 

The consistent shades of pink and orange are seen throughout the Medina and souks.

At times its not easy but then again, we never expected easy. In an odd way we feel that we’ve only just begun, as we dream and plan into the future with the excitement and enthusiasm of a child on their way to Disneyland. 

“Home is where the heart is.”  Corny?  Sure.  But its true.  For now and for three more weeks from today, our home is in Morocco and our hearts…are firmly in place.


Photo from one year ago today, April 24, 2013:

Little did we know as we stood on our veranda, the degree of the impending storm we were
about to enter as we crossed the Atlantic Ocean.  For details of the story on this date, please click here.

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