Sitting on the edge of the pier rocks I tried to imagine life back home in Australia. I wondered what my friends would be doing, my brother and our old dog Indah. I thought about warm herbal teas at my neighbours and how the insects at Thumb Creek would be forming massive balls with the arrival of Spring. Tears welling, I let out a long breath releasing my anxieties and stood, holding firm with my toes so the Croatian wind didnt knock me into the water below.
Damage to buildings from the fighting on the Croatian side of Mostar.
Monthly blood cycles were fully enveloping me, financial issues limiting our travels and now I had to contend with my apparent dissatisfaction for life. I was annoying myself.
I saw my two girls running down from the bus towards the ocean and made my way towards them, trying to shake off my emotions at least until I had time to sit and meditate tonight.
I was almost at the end of the marina pier when a girl in her late 20’s, blew a kiss towards me.
“Did you get that”she asked. “Looks like you could use some love”.
I blew one back as she ushered me over to sit with her and another, more older man sitting beside her. They were trying to play cards. I assumed he was her Dad by his age and Croatian by his silence.
I said a quick hello and sat beside the girl. She began her sentence, as she did with most of her sentences with “So tell me….
“So tell me, where are you from? ”
I answered all of her questions which came in quick succession as I watched the girls enjoying the water. I realised almost immediately by the girls inability to stay still (at all), oblivious social skills (in modern social standards) and elevated awareness of all things that I was dealing with someone who lived outside the formalities of our modern daily lives. I might even make the assumption that there was something autistic in her mannerisms.
Within 5 mins my heart was exploding and so was my laugh. She was funny and knowledgable on many levels. I quizzed her about the war here and the ridiculous amount of abandoned buildings, social standards and religion but mostly we talked about finding her a husband, even if it meant sourcing one through me.
By now the man beside us had left to join another group of people sitting on the beach. She informed me he was her Uncle and that we should now meet her mother.
“So tell me, what do the men in Australia behave like? Here, the ones with good souls have no money and ones with money have no souls.”
“So tell me, do you have a facebook, any paper, I’ll write down my name and we are friends. I’m Milica.”
Her excitement for life overflowed onto me and she knew it. She grabbed my hand and together we walked towards her Uncle and the others. I felt like I was holding hands with my best friend. There was no awkwardness or release, just a strong, firm, loving hand grip. I was introduced to her mother and the family who were happy to let Milica have the floor. I mean no one else was going to get the chance to say a word anyway.
“Watch out you might see my arse”said Milica as she began changing clothes.
Milica’slimbs moved as much as she moved my emotions. She tugged at bra straps, adjusted undies and knuckle tapped her way into my heart. It was a sign of connection she told me as we knocked knuckles again.
For over an hour I forgot everything I had felt at the end of the pier. Milica vibrated at a higher frequency than most Vipassana teachers I know, emanating a love that most of us don’t understand. I would not think that her family has had any medical diagnosis for autism nor should they, but I understand the calmness and quietness in their presence. To hold space for Milica would be at times overwhelming and I quickly allow my thoughts to ponder possible applicants for husbands – they would need to be extremely honest or else Milica would see straight through them and be ready for anything at any time.
As she surveyed the bus and kissed my husband I felt an overwhelming urge to do something that would repay her for the kiss she first blew. She asked for only three things; a book on Australia, a letter and to be friends. She also did ask if she could pat a koala, take one of my children, stroke a kangaroo joey or some dolphins but Ill put that down to conversational jitters.
Thank you for your outward ability to connect and show true love to a stranger. You are a shining star amongst millions that one moon needed.
I only just realised that I have no idea how you spoke such good English when you are Croatian born and family who dont speak English. Our meeting happenned so fast and now I wish I had a photo of you.