I have outlined the most miserable parts of my life. Let me also share with you what I like to call being All Over Life! Those days and nights, those dreamy moments and split seconds I felt so full of life that I never wanted them to end. Often these moments are nothing spectacular, and simply our ability to truly see and feel the world around us. Here one of many, many moments I like to think back of.
A close friend of mine and I were on a trip in my first car trough the Alps. It was an old Fiat X19 with a targa top and a back engine which would constantly run hot. We headed to Italy that summer, and had just made it through the roughest part off the Austrian alpine pass when the engine started stuttering, and steaming. The motor gave its last again and the steering wheel locked, but knowing my car I had already aimed for the shoulder where we came to a stop. The leather seats seemed to burn holes into our legs where the towels had shifted, and sweat was running down our faces from underneath our baseball hats. I was used to this kind of hick-up and wasn’t to concerned, but not very excited about the heat, and the delay during these late hours of the afternoon. We wanted to reach the ocean before ten that night, before the camp grounds would close their check-ins.
I was about to get out of the car to retrieve the water canister from the trunk, when all hell broke lose. Within seconds it rained like it had never rained before. The Alps let us have it, and a full blown alpine thunderstorm erupted. Surprised we looked at each other, immediately realizing that we’d never get the targa tops back on the car in time. I was pretty sure they wouldn’t seal right now anyway, given the age and brittle condition. It was already a pain in the behind on normal days. Then our eyes lit up and we laughed! Life was an adventure! Within seconds we stuffed the towels, and a few other things into an old plastic bag, because in our minds we had to instantly get ready to enjoy a front row seat to one of the most beautiful spectacles in nature, on the top of the world.
Dozens of alpine peaks and valleys opened up right before us under an unbelievable sky, brimming with colors from dark pink to almost black, and golden beams of sun light breaking through the clouds ahead of us towards the Italian border. It was beyond magical. We kneeled high on our seats, and pulled ourselves up on the windshield where we leaned our elbows on the frame and starred into this beautiful wild storm. Rain poured down on us in buckets, and the wind ripped through our hair. We laughed, and tried to talk, but the storm was so loud we couldn’t understand a word.
The clouds broke and as fast as the storm had appeared, it was gone. We looked at each other in wonder while climbing out of the Fiat. When we opened the car doors rainwater poured out on the concrete, like out of a popped swimming pool.
The engine had cooled down soon, and we reached the Italian border before sunset, now rather cold and shivering, sitting on our wet seats, but that view does not leave me to this day. How carefree and happy we had felt during this powerful moment, which came and went so very fast. Not even worrying about wet clothes, make up, hair or even the car interior that moment. Life was so much more important!