What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.”
― Wayne Dyer
I love this quote by Wayne Dyer because before my daughter died I was not really stretching my mind like I do now. I did not believe in a lot of spiritual things, nor give the right amount of importance to what can only be referred to as our passing thoughts that occur to us on a daily basis. It is up to us to listen and be still long enough to actually hear them and to respect what these inner thoughts can actually mean to us and our daily lives. I had a premonition two weeks before my daughter passed away that she was not going to live much longer. It was a momentary thought that came to me while walking home from the beach, a path we walked together many times with my granddaughter in the stroller. I did give the thought credence because I was worried about her, she was living in another state and I was not in touch with her at the time of her death. I called my best friend and discussed the flitting of this horrible thought through my mind. We talked and came to the conclusion that I was a mother worrying about my child who had made choices that I really did not approve of. I also awoke at the exact time that her body was thrown by the car that hit her the night she died, the exact time of her death. I never went back to sleep after I was startled awake until I was called late that night about her death. I know it was her saying goodbye to me. I believe wholeheartedly in our spiritual connections to loved ones now. I have had too many other occurrences happen in the last 3 years that make me certain that we are always surrounded by our loved ones even if they are no longer on this earth. I believe my move to Colombia and the subsequent events are all in someway inter-connected with her death, and she is with me on this journey I have taken.
It takes a lot of courage and honesty to follow your own feelings about things. If you think of your feelings as a road map, they can guide you on this journey called life.
~James Van Praagh
When I first arrived in Colombia our friend brought his truck over to go look at the farm I was going to buy, I really was excited about this farm and moving forward in my life . That day we were to bring a few things to leave there and were almost there but a huge tree and mudslide blocked our path. Buying this farm was the reason I was able to move to Colombia quickly because I would have a place to live without a lot of work or renovation, and my house in the USA was being sold. I craved a life of tranquility. I wanted to have peace. I was sure I could find all of the above in the mountains of Colombia. It was a darling little farm. It was NOT Villa Migelita. It had very little land if you compare it with the amount I have now. It did have amazing views. However, it was super high in the mountains, and would not have been convenient to get into the main city quickly. I say all the time now “What a blessing that the mudslide happened and I did not end up at this sweet farm that was not in a practical location and without any real business opportunities for the future.” Life is always re-directing us, but we need to take notice.
That day I was surprised, as I had not really done the research on what could happen in mountainous regions. A valuable lesson was learned, and now I knew wherever I moved needed to have public transportation and be in a place that I would not be so isolated. Wanting peace is one thing, but to be without a real community would not have been wise nor practical. My partner’s family stepped in to find us a place to live while looking at new real estate options and we found a delightful little home in the small town of Santa Elena. It was built at the bottom of the mountains in the flat plains, and the views on my street looked up at the mountains. I was particularly sure this was the right place as the mountain that faced my area had a distinct shape of an angel. I loved going for walks with my dogs and having that angel follow along with us. I felt it was my daughter and parents sending a sign they were protecting me on my bold new adventure in a foreign country. The search for a new farm began in earnest soon after we got settled in our rental home. I looked at several farms, many around St.Elena, and even made an offer on one. However, once again something happened, this time with the paperwork and that the deal fell through. I still think Villa Migelita was waiting for me, and the first time I saw this farm I fell in love. I took photos of all the farms I looked at and the photo pictured on this blog of Villa Migelita’s property had an orb of light that can only be described as other worldly. I feel that was my daughter’s presence and love .
As we got settled into our new rental home, we also started doing the things that were needed for me to stay in the country. I found out quickly that I needed a Visa. I should have done this in Florida at the Colombian Embassy in Miami before I left the States. I did get my Visa but it was a lot harder than just dealing with the people in the USA, and where I now obtain my Visa every year. I discovered what it is like for anyone who moves to a new country to get the correct paperwork and what they go through to stay in a country legally. It is just as strict here in Colombia as it is in the USA. I can have dual citizenship in five years. The other thing that was important was to get my health insurance in Colombia. It is a process that also took a long time, but I did get it and have the best they offer. I learned to be persistent. I learned that Colombia is not like the USA and is very backward with things like paperwork and computers, and that the simplest things require many steps. You can not just call a place and get questions answered, you have to show up and deal with a real person who then tells you what you need. Then you have to return with those items, and sometimes it is still not right, so you have to go through the process again. I have only been living here 2 and 1/2 years and I have all I need, so it really was not a long process, but at the time it felt like it was!
During all of this time I also needed transportation. We had a small motorcycle and started looking at vehicles. The motorcycle was fun, and we enjoyed touring all the areas with farms for sale and seeing the beauty of the mountains surrounding us in the process. We did upgrade the motorcycle to a stronger one fairly fast, but finding the right car was a challenge which took months to find. Like I said the paperwork for anything in Colombia is quite complicated and needs to be done right. However, riding on the motorcycle became second nature to me and I had fun even when I did get rained on sometimes. It was all part of the adventure! I also took public transportation, something I really never did while living in the States. Everyone in Colombia takes public transportation, even the most wealthy. It is accessible, inexpensive and comfortable for the most part. I started to stretch my mind and way of thinking about a lot of my habits I had from a lifetime of living in the USA. I would see a family of three, child in the middle on motorcycles, or someone with their dog riding with them. I would see babies breastfeeding, or a child being held while sleeping. I know it sounds shocking to us from the United States, but a motorcycle here is the way people get around. They do not have the money to go out and buy a car. I learned about my new culture just by observing the new sights around me. I saw horses pulling carriages full of construction materials on the same road as the taxis, cars, trucks, public transportation and bicycles. Everyone got where they needed to go and it looks chaotic to me still. However, it is part of the charm of life in a new country.
My first months living in my small Colombian town were very busy, very fun and very enlightening. I believe that the farm that I did not buy sent me on a journey to discover the real Colombia. The Colombia I needed to live in to understand the culture. I needed the experiences I was having to make the right decision to buy a forever home. I saw all of this as the days unfolded, each one had a new discovery in store for me. I would wake up and look outside my door and see cows walking down the street or a horse grazing by my door. It was an awakening that would never have happened if I had just moved into the first farm I wanted. I was living an adventure out of a novel and I loved it!