The Phoenix’s Battle – Contemplation at Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como, Italy

(Actual Travel Date: November 17-18, 2010)

The end of my European journey  finished with my last travel to a lake resort in northern Italy where a number of crystal clear lakes resided underneath Switzerland. It was there where confessions were made, debates discussed, revelations inspired, and good conversation flowed. It was full of mind struggles and putting issues to rest and of some much needed tranquility. Physically and mentally.

And it happened with two lovely girls I couldn’t ask more from travel partners.

We were there in off-season and ended up being the only ones in the hostel which was quite amusing, but otherwise, the lake resort was rather lonely, the waters whistling next to desolate roads and sidewalks. Many of the shops and restaurants were closed as we found out after hiking down from our hostel on the hill. Lucky for us, we did find one excellent restaurant to have dinner and lunch at as we relaxed leisurely while discussing the finer points of life.

My advice is to not go in the autumn and winter time like we did, but the quietude that greeted us was much needed for our minds having gone through three weeks of stressful travel.

The lakes were a shade of blue-gray drifting back and forth to the rhythm of the gentle breezes. They moved the ducks forward and left trailing lines of dark shades coasting through the liquid. The sounds of water swishing back and forth were soothing and dull and lulled by the small bodies of land floating atop. Alabaster sun rays peeked shyly from outside the clouds, lighting the outlines and reflecting brilliantly off the waters.

Warm gnocchi, bathed and rolled in marinara sauce, warmed my hands and stomach from the even chill outside. The triple mokaccinos stratified into a dark bronze, caramel, and a light layer swirled with white topped with nimble whipped cream. Journals laid, worn at the edges by travel and bent by the owners, ready for the trip back home.

Those last two days.

Emotions moved and crashed and crested and then fell. And despite the small waves, all was silent and all was well.

The Phoenix’s Battle
Let it fall and fly away to home
Its wings sorely bent; the feathers singed
Red and gold wilted, crying away to
Ashes, proliferating pile high

There’s nothing at first, silent and bare
But the match is struck and the ashes
Come back to crimson; eyes wide alert
Standing strong, appreciating all

The wings are ferociously strong
The clouds pregnant with heaven’s tears
Let the strike come down! The tribulations
The trials — they come without a merciful stop

But the phoenix is flying and can see
Those rays, scintillating and beckoning
Fire is roaring despite the fatigue
It stretches in wonder and releases a cry

It lives. It soars. Eyes tilted toward the sky.

(Thank you to all who has taken the time to read and especially comment on my grand European adventure travel blogs! All…two or three readers? Haha! It has been a grand experience, and you will hear more from my traveling once I’ve gone to Kenya. I might also have the chance to travel to Cambodia. There are exciting things ahead for me. For now, I’m reverting back to my old theme of blogs: small ounces of appreciation.)

(I am featured over at the Baylor Study Abroad website here —

(To all the Maastricht people on my study abroad I had the pleasure to travel with, this is my dedication to you all —

(Please support and help send me to Kenya — check out the Kenya 2011 Mission page on my blog)

(If anyone needs any travel advice whatsoever (especially backpackers) feel free to leave a comment below. I know everything there is to booking hostels (which ones are the best), trains, planes, tourist attraction advice, etc.)


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