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Closing the door to 2021 and opening my arms to 2022

Almost at the end of this year, I could not stop thinking about how much I have lived these last 12 months.

The Pandemic, already widely spoken about, leaves marks, traces, scars, wounds, many still to be healed, on the skin and in our Soul - fears, grief, losses, bitter surprises, that we try to understand and even accept, with our finite condition of mere mortals, but also as Beings in constant Evolution and Learning.

With almost 1 and a half years of living and being on the ground in the interior Baixo-Alentejo, today, closing my eyes for a brief moment and listening to my heart speaking about what it feels and what it has learned during this stage, it seems to me that it has been the year of the most greatest change in my still young life so far.

From opening a Country Lodging business in the middle of a pandemic, of moving forward on a very bumpy road, between closing down, reopening, redefining strategies and objectives every week, inventing solutions to pay the bills, living one summer without the Pool/Tank, because money doesn't fall from the sky and because we do everything to avoid debts. To stop having a salary for several years, to develop a personal business, still without personal gains, to invest what you have in a region that you want to see more developed, to understand that you have to leave all your old life behind and start again...

New beginnings are hard, it hurts, it makes the heart ache and it often leaves you empty-handed of what you took for granted and that you discover is not for you. The past no longer belongs to me, I learn to walk alone after many years with someone, I fall, I get up, I talk to myself, with my cats, with the Trees and the Birds here at our Monte, I cry, I sing, I shout nonsense, but I also laugh at myself and I surprise myself by my Courage of succeeding, even so, of moving forward little by little, yes still with empty pockets, but with a full heart, of Gratitude.

A great and dear friend of mine, tells me that I am a "Warrior", and I want to believe that I am, that I am 46 years old and that I believe that all of us can change and walk more in tune with our Mission, when we feel that it is time to leave and move towards ourselves.

Nobody says it's easy, we often want to close the door and even give up, because living in Portugal inland is romantic and beautiful, but that's only a small part of it. Small businesses have had a very bumpy road, particularly over the last two years or so. Many have closed their doors and others have had to reinvent themselves. Today I believe it's no use making big plans, nor creating many expectations, what I have now and the present moment, will certainly be very different in a few months time.

The most important thing is to value the small achievements that we make, the moments, the people who believe in us and cherish us, the things that make us happy and never stop believing and visualising our dreams...

In the space of more than a year, I have received and talked to extraordinary people here at Monte, many of them having set a place in my heart, I have prepared Breakfasts, Moonlight Dinners, Suppers, Lunches with Guests who have become Friends, I have tried Korean Gastronomy, I have made and unmade beds, I have cleaned houses from top to bottom, I have made dozens and dozens of machines and clotheslines, I decorated empty spaces, I recovered furniture, I cleaned weeds and grass, I cleared olive trees, I cut firewood, I transported lime stones and stones, I nailed pictures and outdoor signs , I painted chairs, I planted new trees and bushes, I picked vegetables, potatoes, onions, olives, I did On-Line Training, I worked as a Baker, an Accountant, a Sales & Marketing Manager. I met and tasted new wines from unique producers in this region, one of my passions, I sat down many times to enjoy the sunset, the stars in this Alentejo sky, I cried alone, I cried and laughed with my closest friends, I watered plants for hours with headphones listening to K-POP and dancing, I got soaked and wet during summer storms, I discovered a new Passion for Korean Music and Series and some Asian Countries. Yes, I was also truly happy this past year. And, I realize, that I can, I want to keep learning, every day of my life, discover the world beyond this blessed corner of my Monte.

The Path is to continue, to break new ground, to work, to develop new projects, because I am healthy to do so, thank God, to meet people who speak to my heart , to believe in this region that welcomed me, to share beautiful moments with dear friends and guests, to collaborate through those who work with Burrico D'Orada and even to think that Beja Airport and the railway will one day be a reality and an asset for the development of this inland region, which needs more involvement from everyone and less politics, less selfish interests .

I wish you all a Year 2022 full of POSITIVE things:

Walk with a Smile in your Heart,

Believe in our Dreams,

Share more, Give more, Work Together, Be more Truthful,

Be more Authentic in Gestures, in Words, in Friendship, in Love.

Because after all, Nobody walks Alone and Life is NOW.

There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and above all live.

Dalai Lama

마음이 말하는 행복 Happiness is

Take Care.

With Love,

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