He would have loved Lagos (Portugal). It has a warm, light and relaxed vibe about it. The air is clean and fresh, the sky and the sea emerald blue. It is multilingual and multicultural with a German bakery, a Dutch supermarket, an Irish pub and a smattering of tokens from all over the world. 8 months of the year one can get by in shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops which is what he preferred to wear even at the near freezing temperatures of the English winter. He would also have thoroughly enjoyed the real piri-piri sauce given his passion for hot food.
The one thing he would not have liked is a dark period in the history of Lagos. In the 15th century it had a market at which slaves, imported from North Africa, were sold. The building that housed the slave market has a wide porch and double arches. It still stands on the seafront as a constant reminder of that inhuman practice.
This is the new normal. When I am in a new place, I wonder what he would have thought of it, how he would have reacted or felt. The ones we love are always in our hearts.
While these thoughts were going on in my head, our Yoga teacher this morning read out this ‘Mantra of love’ –
“Because I am the only person I will have a relationship with all my life
To love myself the way I am now
To always acknowledge that I am enough just the way I am
To love, honour and cherish myself
To be my own best friend
To be the person I am happy to spend the rest of my life with
To always take care of myself so that I can take care of others
To always grow, develop and share my love and life.
Om peace, peace, peace.”