I suppose Autumn is pretty much over now, and it’s technically winter…
Teaching English is the usual working grind. There’s so much demand for classes right now given the economic situation. Fewer jobs and higher unemployment is making our workload increase as people want to invest their time in some kind of study, particularly languages to try to get better qualifications and beat the competition. It’s been a busy last few months and I’m looking forward to having some time off this next weekend when we have a ‘puente’ (literally bridge, but an extended weekend to connect the holiday with the weekend) and then only a couple more weeks until 2 weeks of Christmas holidays!!! It looks like the plan is mostly to stick around here but still aprovechar the time off, go for hikes, get to some nearby villages and cities…. RELAX. I can’t wait.
Apart from that, a friend I traveled with in Chile and Argentina came to visit for a week and we were able to put together a Thanksgiving dinner with some other girls here, and then take off for a day to do part of one of the Caminos de Santiago – Camino del Norte, going from Irun to Donostia. It was about 25 kilometers and took us around 7.5 hours walking along the coast in the mountains. Gorgeous views and definitely made me motivated to get out and do other sections of either Camino del Norte or the other trails that are in the area. Pictures here!
Nikki’s aunt came to visit, just in time for her to have baby James who’s growing fast!! Eleanor just turned 2 years old and is lovely as always, speaking more words, and is just the brightest kid ever! So lucky to be able to be around Nikki and her family… They had Eleanor’s birthday party last night and there’s nothing like playing choo-choo, coloring, and kicking balloons around. Seriously, we had it made when we were little – nothing beats that. So simple… and the worst thing is when you can’t get the cap off the marker or want a cookie. Time machine please???
That’s about it for now – I will keep trying to update more often but that means I’ll have to make time for other things besides work. Yesssss, it’s possible.
In the meantime, despite trying put it out of my mind for a while, I’m still pondering where to go next, what to do, go backwards or forwards…. Even though we’re losing touch with some and meeting new ones, I’m constantly learning and appreciating more and more the people who have been and are in my life… So here are 2 short reads I’m loving… Think about it.
“What is REAL?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day… “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand… once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real
People should not be taken for granted — not the ones who raised you, not the ones who ground you, not the ones who love you. Not the stranger who chased you for a half-block to tell you you’ve dropped something, not the one who holds the door for you, not the one who asks you if you’re feeling okay or the one who asks you to dance.
Their actions are not inconsequential; they are what it means to be human, a state so common that it’s rather easy to forget how extraordinary it can be.
Remember it always, remember how bland and unsatisfactory and meaningless life would be without humanity.