Ruth: The sun returned yesterday, bringing back with it my optimism. My moods have been as volatile as the weather this trip. This morning I woke up after a rough night in which I couldn’t get comfortable. I needed an extra dose of coffee and Buddhism to get me back to something resembling human.  In my darkest moments I was considering canceling my trip to Japan in April, fearing my back issues would be too much of a problem. 
By noon the dharma talk was kicking in and I was sitting in the sun at Porto Pim’s waterfront sketching the old Port gate. I rarely paint outside, generally preferring a comfy chair and table, but I found a nice perch on a lava stone wall that worked well. 
The podcast was on imperfection. After half a life spent chasing perfection I find myself taking a u-turn and trying to embrace all that is imperfect. Travelling always throws me a bit of a curve ball. Every trip comes with plans for the perfect experiences. The stakes feel even higher when I have taken a leave without pay from work. Travel, like life, is unpredictable and imperfect, much like me. Now that I have reminded myself of this I am much more content. 
Tomorrow, Gord and I are heading over to São Jorge Island without our bikes. I am riding well on reasonable terrain, but São Jorge is quite vertical. We will rent a car for a few days so we can see most of the island and return to Horta next week. 
For now, I am enjoying the beautiful weather in Horta as I sip a cup of tea. 

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