Botanical Gardens and Saint Parascheva

I had meant to put this up sooner, but I kept forgetting. This happened the day before I got food poisoning.

Part of an e-mail I sent to a bud-

“Before I got sick I got to see the Botanical Garden (so pretty!) and to go to a Church where a saint has been mummified there and theres a cloth over her hands, but unlike the rest of her body which is encased in a glass cover, her hands you can put your hands on…”

It was a really nice day out in Iasi and Vlad asked me what I’d like to do. I put on my ankle sleeve, a dress and cardigan, and we set out. First we went to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Iasi, where the relics of Saint Parascheva are housed.

A cousin of mine told me about Saint Parascheva, and that her mummified remains are in Metropolitan Cathedral in Iasi. She said that there’s a cloth over her hands, but unlike the rest of her body which is encased in a glass cover as well, one is able to touch her hands. She said people go there and pray, asking the Saint Parascheva for guidance, help to find love, or even aid in what ails them. I thought this was very interesting, though the idea of placing my hand over a mummified hand, even if it is covered with layers of cloth, etc. scared me somewhat. I did put my hand over the relics.

Later while I admired the architecture and paintings on the walls and ceiling. I thought to myself, what do I want? Meaning as a personal goal of a change I need to bring about in my life. And the idea that “I want to learn how to be happy-with what I have.” In today’s modern times it is difficult to fully be able to enjoy things in the moment, for exactly what they are. To be present in the now, rather than the past or future. And this takes away from what it is we do have, because one can’t truly appreciate what they have, even if it’s a lesson about a mistake they made, not fully at least, if one is bouncing around between the past and the future. So, that’s what I realized I wanted to learn that day, I wanted to learn to be more in the present, and enjoy what I do have, which makes me happy. Not yearning what I don’t etc. Goals are a constant in my life, but I think I’m beginning to see that one can be present and happy with what they have, while working towards goals, if they learn to appreciate the journey and wherever it might lead, even if it’s not where we intended or wanted. There’s always a lesson, don’t waste it. At least, that is what I have learned these past weeks.

There was an old woman dressed in black, kneeling and praying in the center of the church. She seemed to be very focused on her prayers and thoughts, it was almost as though one could sense her words rising from her.

Afterwards we walked over to the Botanical Gardens. It was very pretty. I’ve been to the one in FL, but this contained many more flowers and trees. At certain points it felt more like a park or perfect picnic or camping site. The trees and pathways led to more secluded areas, and then up cement stairs again there were flowers once again. A variety of roses and others I had never seen.  There was a wedding reception being held there, the bride looked beautiful. She was worried about her dress as she walked and was careful with it, and she and her groom and family stood as a photographer took their photo. Vlad and I waited then passed when we could.

We also stopped by Copou Park. I think my favorite part was getting to see the over 100 year old tree which the famous poet Mihai Eminescu would sit under and write. I remember being little and looking at the 1.000 lei bill –Romanian currency back then- and thinking how handsome he looked in his portrait.

We ate ice cream while we sat on a bench. I got a scoop of a cantaloupe flavor and another of grape. I preferred the cantaloupe more so. But they were both tasty. The tall trees provided amble shade, and little kids were roller blading in the park as their parents chatted nearby. We stopped by a street where vendors sell things from jewelry to books. I enjoyed looking through the books.

I think it was one of the best days I’d had in a long while. It was nice to be able to get out, and I felt very, me. Does that make sense? Getting to put on a pretty dress because I felt like it –ankle sleeve as well-, and walk around getting to see new things and talk to my cousin. I don’t think there’s anything else I could’ve asked for honestly…just a peaceful day. I think it’s the neatest thing, to be asked what would I like to do, and get to do that and more, while having your big brother be your guide.

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