Trip to Gorenjska

optimism and mental health

Another Slovene beauty flowing from the Julian Alps: the Soča river (Latin: Isonzo).

A while, not very long ago, I took a train to the Gorenjska region of Slovenia, EU. I saw a kestrel flying over a corn field and I remembered a kestrel nesting on our balcony years ago, when I was still working in the city, commuting by train every day. The year I started to work at home on the slightly remote outskirts of the city, the kestrel chose another place to nest. Probably due to being too timid.

I saw a farmer digging out potatoes. And I thought to myself: Is he going to sell them on a farmers market? Or is he going to cook enough jota* for all the perky grandchildren? What you really need as a child is a roof, enough food, lots of love and some strictness. The farmer looked like that kind of a father, for he worked the land with love, care and attention.

I saw cows grazing and thought to myself: the more cows are grazing, the better milk we will drink.

The most beautiful part of the train trail passes by the Sava river. A turquoise beauty flowing from the Julian Alps. I thought to myself: thanks God and all the responsible people our rivers are relatively unpolluted.

Last but not least, I saw remains of the ice storm we had in winter. Some wood was still there to be picked up by the foresters on a very steep slope right next to the train line. I remembered how the country stepped together in times of crisis last winter. Suddenly people started helping each other instead of complaining and fighting. Our firemen became national heroes. There were many people helping, but most firemen in Slovenia are volunteers, that is what makes them so special. The same goes for mountain rescue heroes – they are all volunteers. And next to the employed doctors and nurses, NATO soldiers, foresters, electricity specialists, there were numerous handy-man volunteers who offered their expertise in handling a chain-saw. There were also other people of good will who saw a chance to help and just did it.

You could say I am wearing pink glasses. I am! It is my choice in life.

Let my conclude by a quotation by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama: “Choose to be optimistic. It feels better.”

What are your views on that? Comments welcome!

Take care,
Helena Smole, author of Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

*jota = one pot dish made of cabbage, potatoes, beans and dried pork

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