I have been thinking some about a word in Spanish. Dr. Hamilton opened doors in my mind to the wonderings of linguistics; and I cannot turn back. The word is “preocupar.” Most often, the verb is used in saying something like “no te preocupes.” If translated for meaning, it means “do not worry.”
There are days here when I sit alone at the wooden table. Well, not literally alone. Two or three employees sit around me, yet they talk about personal or business things that either I cannot relate to, or my Spanish is not proficient.
Sybil, my closest friend and roommate here, is serving tables tonight in the restaurant. I pick at the pasta on my plate and begin to imagine what it will be like when she leaves at the end of the month. Will the cohesion of our group dissolve? Will a divide grow in between employees and volunteers? Will every evening turn into this? I sip from my “Home Depot Argentina” mug. I am not thirsty, but I want something to do so I can linger at the table longer. I have descended the staircase that seems to present itself only in the evenings—with each stair I carry myself deeper into the preoccupied state of future thought.
And that is just it. “No te preocupes” translated literally means “do not preoccupy yourself.” I need this reminder. My blues comes when I lose my footing in the present and drift towards future worry. The Spanish-speakers have it right. Worry is what happens when my mind fixates on things prematurely. I stand and walk to the only-cold-water sink. The sky is dark. A last breath of day lingers in the pinkish hue of the clouds.
Without fail, there is redemption for nights like these. It is as though I find an equivalent to my late night laps around the Quad.
Here, I go find Sybil and listen to her explain the comic book story she has been developing in her head for a year now. She intertwines the personalities of her friends in a plot surrounding the last hurrahs of youth when dreams mix with reality. She is so French, which makes it all the more entertaining to watch her work to convey meaning in Spanish. Her brow furrows as the light catches her blue eyes and reveals how personal this narrative is to her.
Or I cross paths with Pablo, and before I can say anything, his face gives way to a goofy expression as though to say “you look at me as if I am up to something, but I’m not!” Standing on the edge of town, our heads tilt. We drink in the stars showing off in the new moon night. I introduce Pablo to a sweet southern phrase, “my word!”
Or maybe, redemption is slow-coming. The following afternoon, I prepare the soil for a new bed of zucchini. Astrid has arrived home from her travels. It is as though Grammy docked at Sun Sands. Bahia Bustamante is finally complete. She brings with her friends from Buenos Aires. Young hip blond Argentine guys with scruffy beards and puffy Patagonia jackets. A wispy Ecuadorian girl follows behind them. I cannot help but think of the 180 Degrees South entourage as I tour these new friends through the garden. The Ecuadorian, Isabella, kneels down to plant basil, eggplant, and leeks with me. Astrid passes us Mate and we revel in the “girl power hour” in the garden. At day’s end, everyone finds their way to the garden. I like to think it is the “life hub” which attracts us. Whether it is the life in each other or the life in the growing red fruits, I am not certain. On the western edge of the garden, the wind dances through oversized bushes speckled with blushed-pink blooms. I pull at the collar of my sweater—the breeze sweeps hair in my face as the light pours in—it is golden hour.
my inaugural alcoholic beverage to celebrate my 21st birthday came two weeks late. From a broken glass mug I sipped Patagonian wine. The wind mixed in Patagonian dust to make things extra special. [Sybil, Rosie, Jacob...R and J are from the UK only here for 2 weeks]
Sybil and I went exploring one morning. We walked 9K to the end of the Peninsula.
Mate Mate Mate! I am learning all the tricks to being a "Sededor" aka the one who passes the mate.
We plant with the new moon as the new moon is when roots grow. The full moon is better for the parts of the plant above ground. at this time, the fruits, leaves, and flowers grow the most. call me a dirty hippie.
Home is in North Carolina. But, I take seriously Wendell Berry's imperative, "Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction."