Reflecting on what brings you happiness
I’m taking the time for gratitude
Welcome to Kez’s bookshelf for the first time in 2018.
The start of each New Year brings the time for reflection, self evaluation, resetting of goals and priorities for many people. I recently sat down with my daughter and embarked on such a conversation, the result was enlightening. Over breakfast one morning, we discussed what’s important to each of us not only for 2018 but also for the years to come. This conversation also saw us reflecting on previous years of our lives. While my compassionate and intelligent daughter acknowledged the happy times and the struggles (some years more difficult than others) she also indentified what’s most important. Her words were… “Mum in your life time you have experienced married life, had a family, owned two homes and been to a number of countries overseas, there is much there to be grateful for.” She is right! I thanked her for reminding me of what is essential here… gratitude! My daughter is without doubt my most precious blessing.
As you set your goals for 2018 take a moment to be grateful for your own achievements and experiences. Especially if life has taken unexpected turns or perhaps you’re facing unwanted challenges. Looking for the light where you least expect it is often the pinnacle moment for turning life events around. Taking time for gratitude will also put into perspective what’s truly important to you.
The memories of my overseas adventures are very dear to me and I’m very grateful I have been fortunate to experience them. One of my favourite overseas ventures took me to Prague. Formerly a part of Czechoslovakia, Prague became a democratic society in 1989 and I was surprised just how well preserved and maintained this Gothic City is. It’s a true reflection on how much the people of Prague appreciate and respect their historical home.
When reading “The Roman” by the incredibly talented Sylvain Reynard (the author is another favourite of mine) I was delighted that the heroine of the story spent time in Prague. The chapter devoted to this beautiful city invigorated my wonderful holiday memories. Today I wanted to include a review of chapter 58 from “The Roman” (the final instalment to The Florentine Series) as well as some of my own experiences as a mark of thanks for two things that has given me great enjoyment and helped to bring colour to my world. I do this in the hope that you may reflect on what you’re thankful for, what’s important to you, so that you may see clearer what brings colour to your world….
Everything about this place is enchanting, the people, the culture, the architecture, the atmosphere; upon my return home I would experience goose bumps every time I relived my stay in Prague. As we discuss this section from “The Roman” today, you’ll start to see why.
Chapter 58 begins with Raven Wood sitting at an outdoor table of one of the many quaint little cafes in old town square, she was situated across from Prague’s magnificent Astronomical clock. With her love for historical art and gothic architecture, I am sure Raven appreciated the vision that stood across from her. To help you see in your own mind’s eye – The Astronomical clock was first built in 1410 and has three main components – an astronomical dial that reflects the position of the sun and the moon, a calendar dial representing each month and a clock that depicts time with an hourly display of the twelve apostles, as well as other figurines.
The Astronomical clock is housed on the southern side of the old town hall tower. When I visited Prague, I was extremely fortunate to have found accommodation in an apartment that was situated on the northern side of the tower still in old town square. Let me tell you, it was a wonderful experience to hear the trumpeter stationed in the tower almost every hour, announcing the coming arrival of the twelve apostles – according to Wikipedia this is also known as “The Walk of the Apostles”. Close your ears people (and your eyes Mum), I can hear Professor Emerson (the hero from Sylvain Reynard’s incredible “Gabriel’s Inferno” series) mumbling….”Wikifuckers!!”
Our views from the apartment window
As Raven sat across from this gothic masterpiece she contemplated what had transpired since her departure from Florence two months ago. She was escorted to Austria with her driver and two other females, departing with one of her travelling companions in Innsbruck where they also stopped at a safe house. It was here that Raven underwent another identity change and she was given a Canadian Passport. Switching cars, the driver then transported her to Prague where she was given a new life. She now held a position with St Vitus Cathedral writing and editing material in English. Although Raven no longer practiced in the art restoration I’m sure she would have appreciated being around such breathtaking artefacts that are housed in St Vitus Cathedral.
This magnificent cathedral is situated in the grounds of Prague Castle and is the biggest and most significant cathedral in the City. Taking almost 600 years to complete, it was founded in 1344. SR discusses in chapter 58 how it is also home to St Wenceslas Chapel which houses incredible frescoes of the passion of Christ and the life of St Wenceslas. The chapel is also home to several holy relics.
St Vitus Cathedral
While Raven sat across from the Astronomical clock waiting for the next appearance of the twelve apostles, she absentmindedly touched her own relic that was given to her. As she did so, she thought of William and what had recently taken place in Florence. I found it quite poignant that Raven sat across from the Astronomical clock pondering William, that magnificent apparatus represents the very essences of time, very apt indeed. Sipping her Saturday morning coffee, Raven suddenly noticed a man skirting the crowd congregated around the front of the clock, he was dressed all in black with fair hair – he looked like William.
She deserted her breakfast and she began to walk as fast as she was able towards the man who was now walking away from the crowd. Suddenly the man stopped and turned around as the clock’s bell began to ring. Raven stopped and raised her hand in order to shade against the sun and make out his features, but it wasn’t William.
That evening as Raven lay awake in her apartment, she watched the light and shadows dance across the ceiling and walls of her bedroom.
She whispered and I quote from chapter 58…
“You were the shadow on my wall”, pain piercing her chest.
The shadow didn’t reply.
If you haven’t experienced Sylvain Reynard’s impeccable writing. You can find all his stories from his own Amazon page here:-
If the first thing you do for 2018 is to read a book written by Sylvain Reynard, you’d be doing yourself a huge favour!!
Good luck as you set your own goals for 2018 and beyond, may you find what truly brings happiness and fulfillment to your life.
Until next time