Small Rituals

La Voz de Galicia – May 7, 2020 →

Cristina PatoXan and I, whenever we can, go out for a walk by the river’s edge at the end of the day. We stroll slowly, sometimes chatting and others in complete silence; sometimes dumbfounded and others appreciating all that surrounds us. In yesterday’s walk, the light was truly beautiful, an orange that was almost pink, with blues that turned towards yellow, and a light fog that amplified the power of the sunset in a magical way. «It has been a while since I don’t see a sunset like this one,» I said in wonder to my husband, and he responded, «It’s been a while that you have not seen them like this, but they have been there every day…»

And the truth is that he was right. Whatever the cause, there are times where it is not always possible to celebrate those small victories that make our lives something better, like appreciating the colors and grandeur of a sunset. Sometimes it is in one’s power to achieve this, and others it is necessary to ask for help. But perhaps now, with vaccines possible for many and about to end this state of alert, we may be able to face forward, learning to accept this normal that we don’t quite know yet while we rediscover all those things which we could not enjoy this year.

It is complicated to assume that everything changes constantly, humans included, and it is also complicated to cling to the hope that all will be well. But as Alexandre Dumas wrote in The Count of Monte Cristo, «life is so uncertain, that happiness must be enjoyed when it presents itself.» And so I will continue to practice daily those small rituals that each one of us performs to try to approach a little more the notion of happiness because perhaps these routines are the ones that help us see the sunset with new eyes.

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