Free Spirit

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An hour by train north of Barcelona is the ancient Benedictine Montserrat Monastery (started in 880), high atop the mountains with some of the most spectacular views of Catalonia. Monserrat is still active today and we happened to arrive just as the world famous Montserrat Choir boys recital had begun, their entrancing voices echoing through the Basilica and beyond. Many pilgrimage there from afar to touch the “Black Madonna”, called so because her face has darkened with age. It is believed that there have been miraculous healings just by touching her.

After exploring the monastery, a wonderful art museum and having a lunch, we decided to take the funicular train further up to the very top of the mountain to enjoy one of the short scenic hikes. We encountered spectacular views in every direction, and yet one of my favorite memories was turning a corner to find this young woman playing with her scarf in the wind, so carefree and joyous, such innocence in that moment, she stopped me dead in my tracks. How often do we…do I stop to just be, to just play with no plan, no to do lists. I found myself filled with the same joy watching her. Part of me wanted to be her in that moment and part was so thankful for the gift of watching her, of the opportunity to capture her. May she remind me and you to let loose more, to be in the moment and truly experience the divine beauty in nature around us, to let our spirit fly free in play and gratitude and to revel in those moments.

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