Reflections on our journey and life lessons
Where to begin?
That’s a question I asked myself several times the last week. So, I postponed the writing each day, hoping I would somehow find the right words later. I realize now there is not an exact point to start, so much has happened that it is even impossible to just write that down in one blog. Of course, many of you followed our stories and pictures each day, which was wonderful, it was pure joy to read your comments, but that was just a part of what we’ve experienced.
What I didn’t share is that I didn’t felt so great in the house that I rented. Not that the place wasn’t good, it was a lovely house, at a beautiful location, and with very heartwarming people. It was more a personal matter, something I wish not to write about it at the moment. Maybe one day, I don’t know yet.
A consequence of this was that I couldn’t reach my heart anymore and that was a complete surprise to me and also very hard because my heart is my guide in life. And, as many of you know, also Belle is a very important part of my heart and the most-valuable guide ever. I thought that, once in Portugal, I would feel less pain missing her physically by my side, but it turned out to be much worse. It taught me a meaningful lesson, that instead of ‘running away’ from all the memories at home, to be able to experience all those memories at the place where you made them together is an amazing gift to treasure every day, here at the exact same spot where we lived together.
I’ve seen a lot of signs that Belle gave me during our stay in Portugal. Some examples; at a moment where I was very emotional, missing her so much, a little bird came by the window of the door, landed on the little ridge of the window pane, and sang a lovely song.
Once I was driving back to the rented house, the sky was dark with grey clouds everywhere. I was doubting if to go back to the place where I didn’t feel well, when suddenly the sky broke open and bright rays of light shone down exactly at the spot where our destination was. Another time, I was walking with Emi and Kintana, a memory of Belle came to my mind which caused a deep heartache. I looked at the sky and a big heart-shaped cloud was there, with on both sides the wings of an angel. And so many more, some I prefer to keep for myself, between Belle and me.
One of the hardest parts during our stay was the loss of our dearly beloved horse Joy. That moment when Robert and I had to decide that we had to let her go, and I wasn’t able to be physically there, for Robert, for Joy, for the others, was heartbreaking. No more words to write about that… An old picture of Joy and me, this one was made about 12 years ago! Beautiful memories:
As for the search for a property for our family, we didn’t find one yet. I’ve seen a lot of properties and I also drove to a lot of regions to just see and feel if it would be the right environment for us to live. I couldn’t find it. Remember that I couldn’t reach my normal intuition, so it was not so easy to determine how it felt. But maybe it also told me a lot, that this wasn’t the right region for us. I don’t know for sure yet, I just need time to let it all sink in.
The funny thing is that there is one little dog that led me to another country and that is Cloudman. And I know for sure that another little dog, our warrior angel, led me to him.
While driving to Cloudman, which was from the west coast of Portugal to the east coast of Spain I was in awe of the beauty of nature there. Where in some parts of the Alentejo I got a sort of suffocating feeling by all the mountains everywhere around me, here I saw more flat areas with every time another mountain or mountain chain in sight again. I loved that! I learned that I love hilly landscapes but I need to have a nice and clear view too. Besides that, I discovered that the east coast of Spain is quite interesting, feeling the even warmer temperatures there.
So, what has brought this big journey to us?
Of course, it was an amazing adventure, we’ve traveled through 4 very different countries and we’ve seen a lot. We met lots of wonderful people and friends, and made beautiful and special connections. We’ve seen and felt such pure and magical places, where nature touched our hearts in the most breathtaking ways.
We’ve learned a lot about what we want with our search and what we don’t want. We learned a lot about properties and land for sale, about the different regions, the people and culture, and the climate.
Although we didn’t found our dream place yet, which I didn’t expect to happen so fast (but you never know of course), it brought us a lot of experiences and information. Robert and I decided to take a little break now, for me to get lots of rest because the whole journey had a big impact on me, and for us together to think and feel more about our next steps.
In the meantime, we will, of course, continue with Little Belle her magical sanctuary here: www.littlebellesmagicalsanctuary.org
I will write and share more about our life here with all the dogs. There is also a very special event coming in memory of Little Belle, the magical birthday auction, where we also need your help! See: https://littlebelle.org/auction
So, lots of work to do!
I would like to thank all of you for your beautiful support along our journey, that meant, and still means, a lot to us. There were also friends that supported us with a donation, which was really amazing and touched our hearts deeply. Thank you so much! Little Belle will smile in heaven and in our hearts knowing and feeling that she and her family are surrounded by such wonderful friends.
I think it’s already pretty obvious that I am very happy to be home again. I’m sitting behind my desk, in Little Belle her special corner, with the countless gifts you gave to her and to us, in her memory. All the dogs are close to me, resting in their own beds, or on the chairs or couches. Robert is attending a course today but will be home in a few hours. The horses are enjoying their hay outside and I can watch them through the windows, or later more closer when the dogs and I will go outside. Oh yes, it’s the best feeling ever to be home again!
Never ever, in any case not voluntary, will I leave home again for so long. Well, one thing is very clear, the best part of our journey was finding our little man Cloudman and bring him home! And one other part, for sure, the amazingly happy homecoming! While feeling my little angel by my side all the time… ♥
Written by Irene, Little Belle’s mom