Celebrations, reflections, and returns – Back in 2020

Updated: May 27


In January Claudio and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage. An impossible feat to have imagined in either of our lives. We both swore to ourselves long ago that we would never marry. Our 10 years of marriage have somehow been a struggle to accept ourselves and each other in a state we both so vehemently rejected, interdependent in the formal, legal bonds of marriage.

And what does marriage actually mean, and what makes a happy one? Possibly it means something different for everyone, and over the years I have surrounded myself with people who have been happily married for 30, 40 and even 50 years. Consciously I have sought out these happy people, happy couples, to see what it meant to be happily married. What I have observed is that marriage is a test of endurance. It is joys and difficulties at the most extreme levels. It is the willingness to have love and compassion for myself in all my states, and more so to extend double that love and compassion to another.

Thanks to a combination of these models all around us and our commitment to creativity, we are here, soon to have our 10th wedding anniversary. To celebrate we will return to India, where we shared 3 months at the beginning of our journey together nearly 13 years ago.

For me, India is a mystical land where I am confronted with every aspect of myself in real time, raw and unfiltered. There, magic walks beside me in each step, reminding me to be open to its touch and receptive to its gifts, in all forms.

In 2007 on our second day in India together the first time, walking down the lane along the sea we heard someone call out, “Claudio, Claudio.” We turned to see Mirna, a dear friend of Claudio’s whom he had not seen in 20 years. The exact friend he had told me about the evening before, as it was with her watching a film, Notturno Indiano, that he first dreamed to come to India.

This event characterized the rest of our three months in India, magic around every corner. We embraced these three months and lived them to the fullest following our instincts along the wind. We traversed India from Kerala to Rajasthan, visiting Pondicherry, Varanasi, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Agra – the site of the Taj Mahal, Pushkar, and Madurai before departing from Mumbai. The entire time we planned as we went, each step an adventure. We went by bus, once were 44 hours on a train, we traveled by plane, and at the end even with a car and driver. We slept and dined in every level of place, including people’s homes and in certain kinds of luxury. We had unforgettable experiences harrowing and ethereal. Along the way we met interesting and life shaking people too.

When we returned a friend said, “Wow, I was not sure you would make it back together and you are better than ever.” Indeed, India is a place of extremes. Since this first trip together we have both been back, individually. Claudio once to Goa for 3 weeks while I spent some time with my ailing grandmother in America, something I really wanted to do on my own. For me, as posted here, last summer for 6 weeks on a spiritual trek. Now we return together, to celebrate.

A friend asked me, why return to India?

“To disconnect in order to reconnect”, was my immediate response. Following my post about Bearli’s kidnapping, and the return to priorities, this trip is even more timely. It was always, for me, a chance to totally detach from everyday life and return to what is basically most important, love.

With this, I will not be bringing my computer. Thanks to the generosity of a dear friend I will have iPhone and mini iPad for the necessities of writing and intermittent email and the site will be on hiatus until we return in February. Another friend suggested me to prepare and have the posts going automatically, I prefer a reset. When I return this site may take some new directions, watch and see.

Meanwhile we wish you a SPECTACULAR holiday season full of love and joy radiated from the inside out. If we ride an elephant or have some special adventures you may find us on Instagram at bunnychroniclesfoodmood.

#love #travel #india #christmas #holidays #anniversary

© 2023 by NICOLE CRABTREE