The poor guy probably didn’t see it coming. The waterworks suddenly came running down my eyes. Just an hour earlier, I greeted him with an annoyingly chirpy hello and smile, probably in nervous anticipation of what I suspected was about to come.
I apologized profusely because I was embarrassed for my lack of self-control on showing the weaker parts of my emotions. He, John the plumber, told me that the pipe is broken and that he would need to dig up the ground to find and replace it. Yes, break the tiles, jackhammer the cement, flying dusts, dig the dirt, expose the broken pipes, replace those little suckers, smelly sewage, get the picture?! Breathe. I had experienced this two other times in the past few years — comes with the territory of occupying an older building. It’s no fun in every mental, physical, financial, and yeah, olfactory sense. And just in the past couple of days, my car also broke, the refrigerator, the dryer, the computer … all broken. Not exaggerating. So when John told me that he needed to dig up the ground for a massive repair job, my spirit also broke. And then my eyes broke, and thus, the waterworks. It felt like the last straw and too much at once.
The poor guy didn’t see it coming, but he was so understanding. He joked how he’d been married long enough to know how a woman’s emotions work. Hmmm, should I have taken comfort or offense with that? Kidding.
So I didn’t mean to have the highlight of this post be about my pathetic little problems. Because really, in the grand scheme of things, I know that I’m just a very tiny speck in a vast sea of sand. My problems are nothing compared to so many others in this world who have real life and death sufferings to deal with. And they probably don’t even have any plumbing, much less broken plumbing. But I also know that I’m human. And as humans, when our spirit breaks, like they occasionally do for whatever personal reasons, it’s okay to let it out. Right? I would have wanted to wait until John left before the waterworks started, but it is what is.
So getting to the real highlight of this post is how crucial it is for our spirit to heal in times of stress. I took a vacation to Amsterdam last month for some unwinding. One of the most relaxing things I did during my six days in Amsterdam was walking around the neighborhoods and taking photographs of this charming little city. Some of the things I’m always drawn to capturing with my camera are flowers and plants. It never gets tiring for me. Seriously, how could one look at such colorful flowers and not have their worries melt away, even for just the brief moment it takes to scroll through these photos below. Just as there are many things in life that could upset us, if we allow them to, there are as many other things that can brighten our spirits.
Since it’s not always possible to just get up and go whenever I deal with the occasional stress, it’s nice to have these to look back and remember the calm state of mind I felt when I was walking around taking pictures. The Netherlands is a beautiful country, rich with culture and history and people who are proud to show off nature’s beauty. I was truly impressed how so many homes maintain such beautiful plants and flowers on their front steps. Going through these photos and writing this post has been very therapeutic.
Just like nature has a way and reason for breaking our spirits every now and then, it also has a way of displaying beauty that lifts our spirits back up. Thank you, Amsterdam.