The Rhythm of Time

La Voz de Galicia – May 29, 2020 →

Cristina PatoYoly came to visit. We had her birthday celebration pending; even though her birthday had been back in February, we had decided to celebrate it on March 12 because it coincided with my stay in Ourense. But she and her partner did not come from Trives to Ourense that day because fear was already in the air.

We spoke each day, and each day we made plans to meet «when all this is over.» «I will bring you eggs from my hens and some spinach!»…but this week, when we managed to meet at last, my sister came loaded with raspberries. That’s right, the raspberries she picked last summer and froze so we could enjoy them when we got together again. And then I imagined the affection with which she picked them and the love with which she froze them, according to her way of doing things: in a small plastic box, inside a bag that at the same time would go in another bag, perfectly packed and making an impeccable triangle.

Yoly found her world in the rural a dozen years ago, she found peace there. And I, who have spent years thinking how little I am mistress of my own time, during these eighty days of confinement in my own particular rural, trying to forget that which is not to come, I felt incredibly fortunate to be able to live my life at a real rhythm. The rhythm that I had been following did not always allow time to reflect, and without reflection, there is no learning…

But now that I have to return to my other life, I wonder how long it will take me to forget this phase, or how much I will have learned from it. And I reflect upon the phrase that my mother uttered the day before yesterday when she asked me who that beautiful plant belonged to: «Xan gave it to you the other day,» I said. «Oh, things happen to me that I don’t enjoy because I forget them in two minutes»…

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