Mother’s Day

by Andrada Costoiu

Photo: my mother& me

Once upon a time there was this little girl and this wonderful woman who brought her into this world. The woman was magical , she kept the little girl happy, she made her skin scraps go away and she even had the power to turn substances into different colors in the lab where she was doing research and working.

She also told the little girl wonderful stories , so the little girl grew wings that carried her to follow her dreams. 

The little girl grew and followed her life path; the woman was there all along. She still is.

Happy Mother’s Day mom. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers in the world (including me), because without you this planet would spin empty, without humans. Sending all of you love.

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going

by Andrada Costoiu

I smelled the flowers in my garden, their perfume filled my nostrils and my soul and gave me courage. They keep blossoming one year after another, why shouldn’t I?
I put on my long cream leather gloves and I finally grabbed it. It was sitting there, in a corner, for a long time, but I did not want to let it go. They were all packed in it, my broken dreams. The suitcase was big, and heavy. I put it down several times before I reached the door, but then I gathered my strength and loaded it in the trunk of my car.
It was a beautiful April day, almost summer, with a clear blue sky. My wheels kept rolling until I got to the ocean, to a familiar spot where I often come. I know the shore like the back of my hand, the tall cliffs, the places where it is safe to walk and where it is not.
I parked close to a cliff, one of the tallest spots. It is a 60 feet drop, maybe more. I opened the sunroof, wide and looked at the sky. No clouds. I wondered where I was wrong and where I was right, but these questions died quickly.
Taking a deep breath, I got out and opened the trunk. There they were, all packed in the suitcase, my broken dreams. I grabbed it and dragged it to the edge of the cliff. I almost tripped because my running shoes slipped over the grass, but after all the struggles I went through, this was the last one. 
I stood by the edge, with the suitcase next to me. The ocean was in reflux, and the sand underneath was dry. I took a deep breath, then another and with both hands I lifted the suitcase and threw it over the cliff. I did not look down, but I heard the loud bang. I waited, but there was no shockwave.
My mind rambled. Over the years I learned many valuable life lessons and all of them turned me into the woman that I am today. I think all of us, once upon a time, were weak little girls who thought that everyone else is as pure and as innocent as we are (or were). I think all of us have fought back harder even when our minds convinced us that we will not survive the storms that others have brought upon us, especially when we were in love.
I stood by the edge and in front of me was the ocean, endless, beautiful as in the day when it was created. It was midday and it smelled like summer fields mixed with salted water. I felt it. One beat, then another. It was my heart, beating straightforwardly, as genuine as it always did. It was not afraid to express its needs, its passions, its feelings. I smiled and knew that I would wear it on my sleeve, not afraid to find another lion heart that would want to conquer the world and be true. In this world where “soft” power might be seen as irrelevant, soft is the power. Soft means vulnerable, but it also means strong.
I did not look down. I turned around and walked back to my car thinking that I am an adventurer; I am not just another girl…. I am every girl.
I started the engine and smiled. It was the beginning. More dreams, more hopes, more love. Unafraid, I pushed forward, knowing that I can handle everything because…… when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.
I am not just another girl…. I am every girl…..

© Andrada Costoiu and a-passion4life.com, 2020- . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrada Costoiu and a-passion4life.com, 2020 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My poetry book “Love poems: insights into the complicated mystery of love” is available on Amazon. You can get it here. Please write a review if you get around it. I would really appreciate it.

A New Year wish for you

by Andrada Costoiu

You, woman, man, or whatever you identify with, are like fire. With sparks or sometimes smoldering, you burn, you unfailingly burn….

Now, at the end of the year, it’s time to look at the balance: assess what you have achieved, what is it to do. You have dreams, plans, thoughts…. and together with them, your mind is wondering how many people have warmed up by your fire. How many have found hope in your words, how many have smiled, how many have found light or a bit of safety when there was darkness around them? Did they come? Did they? Are you alone?

Only you, deep down inside yourself, know what you’re feeling. And, just you, alone, now at the end of the year, put some more wood on your fire… to continue burning, for yourself … and for others, for the people that you know and for the ones that you don’t know. 

Let it be a good year for you! I wish you to burn full of life and full of dreams, and at the light of your fire to fulfill everything that your heart and mind desires!

A village museum, Curtisoara, Romania

by Andrada Costoiu

There are many places that seem out of a fairytale in Romania, and this is just another one that I visited a few days ago. It is a Village Museum, in Romanian language called Muzeul Satului. It is situated in the South-West part of the country, called Oltenia and represents houses that were traditional in this region. A while ago I have visited a similar museum in Bucharest, that is much larger, with houses equally beautiful as the ones in the pictures below.

This museum is the result of a remarkable effort, as houses were moved from their original locations and reassembled on new foundations, according to their original techniques. Some of the houses you find here were built in 1700s! To me, they don’t look so old, because believe or not….houses like this are still inhabited in this part of Romania.

Together with the houses you can also find a fountain and a church ( the property of a former Romanian prime minister, Tatarascu, that was removed from his seat once the communists took over the country). The church is small inside, very cozy, and it features the original furniture. The church’s bell, shown in the picture below, was imported from Italy, and when the guide hit it gently to show us how it sounds, I got a feeling that it resonated through the surrounding hills and villages.

Some houses you can visit inside, others you cannot. The ones open inside display objects that were traditional in the rural life.
The village is beautiful and I will let the pictures speak for themselves, with the mention that the smell of flowers and the fresh air adds to the beauty of this place.

Romanian mountains, Papusa Peak, 7000 ft

I climbed on the mountains today. I found them as I remembered, serene and beautiful ❤️

The peak I reached is called Vârful Păpuşa (Păpuşa peak), a 2,135-metre (7,005 ft) mountain in the Parâng Mountains of Romania.

 To go to the base of the mountain, you have to drive through Transalpina, the road more affectionately known as the ‘King’s Road’ or ‘The Devil’s Pathway’. This is the highest road in Romania, reaching a maximum altitude in the Urdele Pass: 2,145 m. Situated in the Parang Mountains of the Southern Carpathians, the 150 km long road ties Oltenia (historical province in the southern Romania) to Transylvania (central and western Romania) between the towns of Novaci in Gorj County (southern Romania) and Sebes in Alba County (central Romania).

The scenery it’s really beautiful!

The road is only open in the summer, because otherwise it is covered in heavy snow.

My grandma and I, visiting a Romanian monastery

By Andrada Costoiu

I am visiting my family in Romania ❤️

Today I took my grandma , 89, to visit a monastery that was built in the mountains , near the city where my family lives. The position of this historical place is really wonderful, on the spectacular Jiu Valley.
The monastery is called Lainici, and it was built in 1817, on the foundations of an older monastery, dated to the 14th century. 

This is an Orthodox monastery , with only monks. Throughout time, it went through a lot, as the place was destroyed first during the Austro-Hungarian empire in the 18th century, then during the WWI, when the German army destroyed the church, and also the cemetery and the archive.

To my daughter, with love

by Andrada Costoiu

We always hear others talking about life and how it goes by so fast, but we don’t seem to understand that it truly does. It goes by in a blink. 
That is why we have to enjoy every moment, the good and the sad ones. That is why we have to create memories, because in the end, we are not the material things we gather but we are the sum of all our memories, all stored within ourselves, deep in hearts and souls.

Today, time slapped me in the face. It did. Not in a bad way but in a way that made me see “it”. I guess the run of everyday life, living life itself masks everything, it masks its passing….

Today my daughter graduated middle school. Watching her walking on the stage from a chair in the audience, I had teary eyes.  I wondered when this happened. I felt that it was just yesterday that I was holding her in my arms, a little baby with a pink bandana on her head.

Life…..
Life and its wonders…..
Life and its beauty…..


From a baby to a young lady….
Her spirit is blooming, and I am smiling. I think it feels like the world’s spring around her, one with butterflies and beautiful flowers – flowers that spring everywhere and represent the endless possibilities that life will bring….

 I guess a mother’s love demands a space with ungraspable borders, isn’t that strange?  I am here, watching …and watching over her.

Nothing is perfect in this world, but I want her life to be the most wonderful she could have. 
She doesn’t have to follow the expected path: job, marriage, kids.  Whatever will be will be. She should explore ……and make the best of every moment. Time flies in the blink of an eye….

Joy Davidman

by Andrada Costoiu

I just finished reading a book about Joy Davidman, the woman that married C S Lewis (a famous British writer that wrote, among other works, The Chronicles of Narnia). 

I guess in a world where you are supposed to hide your emotions, I should not admit that I cried…. but I did, I wept for Joy. 

This is the story of a brilliant woman, of a woman who fought for herself. She lived in a time when women were ascribed mostly the housewife role but she but did not bow to that. Escaping an unhappy marriage, she moved to England with her two sons. She became a confidant, a collaborator, a close friend and ultimately a lover to CS Lewis. 

The love story between the two of them is eviscerating and beautiful at the same time. I know it sounds like a paradox, but this is exactly how it feels. 

Joy died of cancer, she was only 45…..

I feel that she could have accomplished so much more, but in the end, I think she was happy when she went to embrace the unknown.

This is a wonderful book, I heartily recommend it.

As I finished it, I feel that I want to spend more time in their story. I am intrigued by their spiritual journey, by their love….how it grew…..what it became.

I found that their love story is also immortalized in the Academy Award-winning film Shadowlands.

I did not read any of Joy’s worlds, only Lewis’s. But now I will, because I want to know more about Joy….

Happy day to life

by Andrada Costoiu

It’s Mother’s Day here in the US. 

I started the day with a walk on the beach, which is something that I always try to do when I have time. It is a beautiful cloudy day here, a bit unusual for Southern California where is always sunny. But the clouds will disappear, they always go, without leaving us a drop of rain….

But the weather is not what I want to write about in this post. I want to say a few things about life, as I thought about it on my walk.

The path to go down to the beach is always steep. There are so many ways to get down, you can either take stairs or go down on different paths, some paved and some are just dirt paths.

But whichever way you go, you’ll always start at the top, and from there the views are incredible.

I took some stairs and while I was going down, I did what I always do: scan the beach, look for dolphins and whales. I haven’t seen any whales in 2 years, and I have only seen dolphins 5 times this year – but I still look for them every time!

There were no dolphins today either, but there were more people than usual.

Out of all these……a group of people caught my eye.

They were facing the ocean, and when I got closer, I realized it was a mother (elderly – with white hair). She was on a wheelchair and on each side, there were 2 adults, a man and a woman (I think her children). This almost brought me to tears. I wondered what was her story, what were their stories? I passed them thinking how wonderful for them to build memories like this. I also felt a bit of sorrow, thinking how quickly time passes…and with it, our life.

Then there was a younger mom, she might have been in her late 50’s. It looked like she was having a picnic with her 3 kids, teenagers all. When I was walking towards them, she started smiling, I knew she couldn’t possibly smile at me like that, so I looked back. Guess who was coming with a bouquet of orange rosses? Her teenage daughter…..
What a wonderful day she will have!

I guess what I am trying to say with these little scenes of life, on a Sunday morning, on a beach in California is that we all have our life stories. We all have a story!
For some the story is just beginning, for others it nears the end. Whatever the end means! Maybe there is no real end and is just transformation.….
But we each have a story, here, now, our own story to build, to cherish and to live….. So let’s do that!

I want to recognize one more thing. 

Life is not the same for everybody, some people have it easy, some others have it hard (I pray for the people in India right now). Some people battle depression. To you, the ones going through rough patches I want to say this- you are not alone. But when you’re feeling down, remember that somebody brought you here on this earth, so please stay for them if not for you. Stumble, but please, no matter how hard it is, keep moving forward. To those feeling like quitting, don’t.  Play Scarlet O’Hara instead. “Tomorrow is another day!” There is light at the end of the tunnel…..

To all, young, old, mothers or not, happy day to you…..happy day to life……

Happy Christian Orthodox Easter

by Andrada Costoiu

I hate death, the one that comes into people’s homes to take their loved ones. I hate death, the one that chases all of us in our thoughts, every once in a while. The one who says he’s not  afraid of death, he’s lying. Do you know why? Because we’re all afraid of the absolute unknown, and this is what death is, an absolute unknown.

According to the Christian religion, Jesus suffered crucifixion. I imagine him next to Roman soldiers, with nails in his hands.

I think he was scared too, even for a moment or more, but what helped him was his faith. And that’s what left us, and that’s what we’re celebrating now, with Easter holidays.

I don’t know what to say about the afterlife, except that faith in the afterlife exists in one form or another, in every religion. And I think…… I believe that there is nothing more beautiful for a human being who is facing death at least once in his life (that is for those who did not lose anyone and whose confrontation with death is their own death), than the hope and courage to believe in the limitless opportunities of eternity……

Tonight, and always, believe. Believe in yourself, believe in life. Let the light and hope shine in your souls. 

Tonight, light a candle for your friends, for your loved ones who have gone before you, and say a prayer from the heart.  Someone….. if not them…..will hear it  …..

I wish you all a happy Easter.
Love, Andrada

Note: For the ones who do not know, I was born in Romania, a country that is homogenous in terms of religion and race. In Romania most people are Christian Orthodox (81.04% of the country’ population). I was born a Christian Orthodox. Other religious denominations include the Catholics, both Latin Catholicism (4.33%) and Greek Catholicism (0.75%–3.3%), Calvinists(2.99%), and Pentecostals (1.80%).
Today, Romanian Christian Orhodox celebrate Easter.