As I brainstorm how to start this second blog, I am flooded with thoughts of simple measure: I am living. A popular response to “cómo estás?” (how are you) is “estoy aquí”, literally translating to “I am here.”
There is this mindset here that has become truly sacred to me, and it follows something like this: there is no time and place but the present, so commemorate this day with people you meet with and tell them that they are important to you; find a way to release negative energy as soon as it arrives, and enjoy all that there is to see and have and hold.
When sat in the passenger seat of my papito’s three-seater Chevrolet (or “Chevolet” as the tailgate states), I can’t help but notice his right hand rested on the horn 80% of the time, waiting to give a passing stranger or friend a friendly “hola” in the form of a wheezing HONK. Whether or not they respond with a wave or with a slightly confused stare is not of importance, solely the fact that he knows there was a moment of personal connection, even if for a second. Though most of the time, those nearby strangers recognize him and I can catch a glance of a fleeting smile from them as we pass by. I sometimes believe that my dad is the neighborhood celebrity. Being a member of both the Board of Agriculture and of Education really is quite the honorable feat.
Another notable feat is the unlimited amount of love my family here in the tiny village of Pueblo Viejo has been/is giving me. Their patience with the California girl who likes to read a lot of books and drinks black coffee is endless, and without them I know I would be feeling very lonely here. I do have my moments; often times I feel as though I’m adjusting at what seems like a snail’s pace, but as a sense of guilt arises from this, I acknowledge it and recognize that I have every liberty to feel all that I am. I want this. All the raw energy that is coming out of me right now… This is the freshness and the vulnerability that I came here for.
It is easy to get lost in it. The energy oftentimes overtakes me and I feel inclined to alter my mood and outward aura in an unnatural way, wishing to not seem like the contrastive energy that is obviously going to be apparent anyway. Smiling out of confusion has never been my style, yet I can’t sit with a straight face through someone’s joke or story without being singled out as the sketch chick that doesn’t smile.
I am comfortable, regardless of my limited Spanish and extreme existential crisis moments. I am brought joy when noticing the small things we do have in common, like crying when cutting onions and enjoying a clear moon. This home feels like a home.
I am completely enamored by the river that runs through my neighborhood. As I sit near it now I feel as though I could be in Neverland, surrounded by banks of red and white sand, perfect stones for skipping, and lush green grasses and trees towering over me. After training in the Redwoods, I feel so much of a strong connection to trees, especially those bearing their roots for all to see. There is one in front of me now, with her roots reaching towards the river, yearning for a solid grasp where she needs it most, but instead she is held by a cool breeze underneath her, and half of her roots are dangling in the wind, softly touching the sand bank beneath her.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.
I am aware that these next 28 weeks are going to go by in a flash of greens, blues, yellows, and by the end all that I let out, cry about, talk to the cows about, talk with my family about, write about, will be a part of me. And life will go on; that same circle that has revolved incessantly will continue, this time with me as a more well-rounded person (rounded like a circle ha ha).
Title inspired by New Order J