Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sunrise on the Danube

It is almost time to go home and I find that I am waking earlier each morning. We didn't close the curtains last night and my sister slept with her head at the foot of the bed so that she could fully appreciate the beauty of the night lights. The yellow street cars are passing by outside as the occasional taxi makes its way to pick up passengers for early morning flights. A single angler has put a line in the water just beside a Viking riverboat. Paris is just two weeks ago yet it seems like another life.
View from my window at 6:00 a.m.

Materfamilias wrote a couple of posts ago about her anticipatory anxiety at leaving for her upcoming trip. I am feeling the same about returning home. My European life is so different from my life in the Canadian suburb where I was raised and have lived for more than fifty years. I have family, friends and of course, Monsieur and my darling daughter at home but with all of these ties come responsibilities and
expectations. In Europe, I decide in what park I would like  to walk or sit, what site I would like to visit or not, what new food I would like to  taste.  If I just want to be alone with my book or my blog, solitude is readily available. I know enough people in Paris that I am able to visit as much as I want and on the riverboat there were plenty of companionable passengers.

My sister and I have different rhythms. I wake really early and, as anyone who travels with me will soon find out, get really tired mid afternoon. The siesta time (my quiet, alone time) is essential to me. When I am alone, I seldom go out in  the evening, preferring to  read or watch a quiet movie on my computer. I don't feel as though I need to see every sight in a city to fully appreciate it. If I love the place, I will make sure to come back to see more. Places are a lot like people. There are those that are the loves of my life (Paris and Monsieur), those that I would like to learn more about (Budapest, Vienna and a few people) and those with whom I can spend some pleasant time but will probably not see again (Passau, Melk, Regensburg and most fellow travellers).

Just as we acknowledge that there are different shapes and sizes of women and that they are all special and lovely, we are born with different temperaments which continue to develop with our experiences of life. I am introspective, slightly hesitant  and often unsure. Sometimes I think that I tire myself with my own thoughts. My sister, on the other hand, is extroverted and gregarious. We only left the riverboat yesterday and she has already sent e-mails and photos to our shipboard friends. She literally goes each until she drops. As far as I am concerned, the best course for us is to each pursue our own interests and to come together to share them each day.

Monsieur has been pursuing his own interests since I have been away and that  always causes me a little apprehension. What if he really enjoyed my absence? He probably did! But I enjoyed my  solitary travels. That is just the way of our relationship. Monsieur has been working on music and golf. He will be playing at Make Music Vancouver  in June. Years ago, someone remarked to me that he/she was surprised that I had married because I was so independent. That was during my first marriage and the assessment proved to be accurate. With more life experience, we come to know ourselves better and hopefully to become more aware of our needs in any relationship. For the the unsure introvert, that is difficult. The Danube angler, who has caught nothing, is packing up his little stool and his fishing rod. I wonder if he ever catches anything or if he is just an early morning riser out for his daily ritual.

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