A Love Letter

February 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Me, Transylvania | 24 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We’ve hit a rough patch, you and me. And I’m not just talking about that layer of ice at the end of the driveway.

I’m coming to realize that our relationship isn’t a fairy tale. For us? There’s no happily ever after. I mean, we always knew that we weren’t meant to last, that I would be the one to leave.

But there’s still time.

And in the few months we have left together, I want to remember all that I love about you. I want to magic-marker that list on my mental bulletin board and draw your name with curlicue letters that have hearts over the i’s. I want something to hold onto when we’re apart.

Oh, Romania.

I love that there’s something unexpected around your every corner. A woman and her chickens hanging laundry. A basketball goal. A mini Cooper with racing stripes. A snail. A carport vineyard. Every day, always, you make me smile.

I love that everything about you is connected. I walk to the neighborhood market for a liter of milk and hear the mid-morning church bells on the way. I pass the park and stop in so the kids can zoom down the yellow slide and then the purple one. On the way home, we count the taxis lining the piaţa, their bumpers stuck together like a set of checkered magnets.

I love your colors. The purple fence. The blue recycling box. The red bench. The white door. The rainbow of fresh produce. Even snow-covered, your brightness peeks through.

I love the friends you’ve given me. With names like Liviu and Florica and Horia and Mihaela. From as far away as Jordan and Sweden and Delaware. From as close as three buildings down. It’s equal parts strange and wonderful that our lives have intersected. That we are together, here, now.

I love the ways you’ve pushed me. To buy Brussels sprouts and drive a stick. To trust my instincts and live without Dr. Pepper. To let people help me.

I love the experiences you’ve given my children. Horse-drawn sleighs and haystacks. Castles and pirate ships. Walnuts the size of dinosaur eggs and the value of the almighty British pound.

I love your nonchalance. Park on the sidewalk? Sure. Ketchup and corn on your pizza? Okay. A hundred fluffy sheep grazing sun-kissed stalks in front of a dazzling onion-domed church? Oh, right.

Romania, you’ve been the adventure that I hoped for. You’ve opened my eyes and my heart to a culture so very different from my own. You’ve offered up decent chocolate and decadent donuts time and time again.

Let’s savor these next few months together. Let’s hold hands and whisper gently and slow down. Let’s sit, quietly, under that amazing apple tree and imagine the snowflakes are tiny buds, fresh and white and new.  Because I can see the end of this road, our road, just beyond the unfurled blooms.


Have you ever written a love note to a place? What do you love about where you live? And how do you remind yourself?



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  1. Beautiful love letter!

  2. I love my home in Colorado. Not every day, but a good many, as I walk my dog, Ode Yedder, I breathe in the beauty and I exhale a love letter of gratitude for skies that reach and eternity. I open my heart to the mountains that are both rugged and hugging me 360 degrees round my visual field. I whisper to the grasses that are brown now but will green up again in just a few months and the water will flow and I will listen to that melody of the mountain.

    I’m so glad you’ve fallen in love with so much during your time.

  3. Well, this was just lovely.

    I do write about how I love the Illinois’ farmland that I’ve lived within my whole life. It has a beauty to it that I didn’t appreciate until it started to disappear (housing developments).

  4. I had goosebumps just reading this – what an adventure! And it’s not over yet, which is even better. Time for more memories. Great, unforgettable ones. Enjoy every moment my friend.

  5. Wow, no, I have never written a love letter to a place but I really should, if even in my head 🙂 Beautifully done, Stacia, and I think it’s wonderful you did so in the midst of the recent more difficult moments. The time seems to have flown, or maybe it is because I am on the outside? It is best to leave with fond and affectionate memories. I stayed in Japan 3 years past my personal expiration date, and left the country not wanting to go back, which I of course have to do regularly because we have family there. (But always I have a wonderful time when I do go.)

    I love where we live now in NC. Tokyo was great for that particular period in my life, and now I love that I am surrounded by quiet and trees. Maybe because I had been away, I am savoring my home more than I ever have in my past. I hope you will end up feeling this way too when you come back.

  6. I actually started to write one last night, as I walked outside around 1AM in the pristine snow, feeling like the only person in this winter wonderland. It reminded me of that day back in Athens, winter 1999 I believe, when the whole campus got blanketed with snow and I drove down to Sanford just to see what it looked like in the snow. I was the only person then, too, and I was so glad I did it because the snow was gone by lunch.

    Last night, though, was just a great night to reminesce with Lubbock, as I prepare to take my comps in seven weeks, as we have interviewed six new students in eight days about possibly joining our program, as I watch my children growing up here. So many signs are telling me “this will all be over soon, savor it” that I can get caught up and forget to do my work. This town is among the best I have ever lived in, and I will most certainly miss it. Thanks for the place to mention it. I don’t feel up to blowing the dust off the old blog, but at least now I’ve written it somewhere.

  7. Why aren’t you drinking Dr. Pepper? They sell it right in Cluj.

    • It may look like Dr. Pepper and say Dr. Pepper on the can, but it doesn’t taste like Dr. Pepper, at least to my Texan taste buds.

  8. Stacia – What a beautiful post. You are such a great writer 🙂

  9. What a beautiful post, Stacia. Such a joy to read – thanks!

  10. Ah, the rough patches are signs that the love is real. It’s easy to love the surface, the first glance, but the deep truths, those are harder. Especially of places, which all bring good and bad.

    Lovely letter!

  11. This is lovely, in time for Valentine’s day, too. 🙂

  12. So you’re leaving so soon???? You just got here! 🙂

    I tend to always be rushing off for the next adventure – too caught up to write a love letter.

    • We leave in June. So, there’s still (a little) time to savor everything!

  13. Oh, I love this post! I do hope you savor your remaining months, and I can’t imagine that this won’t have reshaped your vision and experience of everything ahead of you. And for your children? Such a gift.

    A love letter to a place?

    For me, I suppose that’s Paris, and perhaps, the fact that the City of Lights appears time and time again in my writing (as well as my dreams).

    What a delightful love letter for Valentine’s, Stacia.

  14. this made me homesick for my time in germany, so long ago….

  15. I love writing a love letter to a place. You’ve captured the nostalgia of a place you were so apprehensive (rightfully so) in discovering. I love that this reveals your transformation from uncertainty to glimmers of happiness.

  16. […] It never brings a fraction of the joy you would think it would, a fraction of the joy it brings to foreigners every single […]

  17. This is so lovely. So beautiful. You make me miss my beloved Paris.

  18. Very nicely written. Sounds like an amazing adventure.

  19. Love this love letter. Despite the rough patches, this tale will go down as an unbelievable chapter in your family’s fairy tale.

  20. You only have a few months left? Wow.

  21. Romania seems less mystical, but no less enchanting. Soak it up these next few months!

  22. […] learned your heart and Your history and how to Toast to good, good […]

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