Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Triathlons, Aloe plants and how we are all connected.

And life, like that, is back to its crazy rythmn. Life in a university town means you never leave the university schedule. Late nights, sometimes late mornings, centered around the next holiday/vacation means that life is either on or off around there.

We needed off time. On time means intense, never stopping hardly to catch your breath around here. Off time was good. But this weekend we were back on, taking pictures for a race here in Granada.

I took my perch up on Llano de Perdiz, a hill behind Granada. I waited in the rain as each particpant ran/walked/climbed over my hill and seemed to appear from nowhere, and took pictures. As the rain intensified, my friend said, "Go, find a warm, dry spot." and I said, "No, I will wait for the last ones. I am always last, so I will wait."

One of my friends was one of the final ones, mostly due to the fact that a number of people pulled out. He arrived spent, happy, ready to finish and happy to see us.

As he and I talked about the race today, I told him how his girlfriend had expressed her nervousness for him. I tried to,and didn't really explain well (I think Spanish wasn't my friend today) how I understood her nervousnessness.

One of the first serious races Andrew and I took pictures for three years ago was the long distance Sierra Nevada race. As we walked amoung the men and women about to compete I had two impressions.

1. Shaved legs. More than I'd ever seen. On men.

2. The buzz. I could feel it. Even though I wasn't going to race, I felt all their nerves, excitement, trepidation and energy. It was amazing. It made me want to a race of my own. Several months later I did.

But this got me thinking about how even though I was only an observer that day (as well as others) how much we are and can be connected emotionally.

This week, my light reading is a children's novel by Madeline L'engle. It's rather deep, and I've read it twice,and have finally "gotten it". The idea that is the main theme is this, from the microspocic creatures to the largest galaxies, size doesn't matter, our names do. Our presence, our very being. She puts this in simple terms.

A boy in the book, reads a theory about this, and decides to test it. He plants three beans, one in his home, a broken, angry, sad home. Two beans he plants in a library corner (permitted by the librarian). One of them he lovingly talks to and encourages. Of course, the third bean grows magnificantly, the first one is wilted and horribly deformed.

And this brought me back to my plants. Two and a half years ago, my aunt Debbie left Spain and gave me four aloe plants. They have lived, inspite of my oft neglect. Strangely enough, they somehow seem deeply connected to my aunt, and just looking at them gives me both comfort and concern.

This past May, my cousins' son experienced great pain, and then it was discovered that he had cancer. Only three years old, we prayed, cried and hoped. He almost died, but he didn't. He is now in the States recieiveing chemo.

Through the lowest moments as my aunt and uncle, grandparents to this little three year old boy, my aloe plants struggled. This summer, even though I watered them, they turned red and brown.

But as my aunt and uncle have traversed the Camino de Santigo, or the way of James, I can see in their photos and words, new life has been given them. They are finding it again. Suddenly, just this week, after I gave away an aloe plant to help heal one of my friends skin, the three remaining aloe plants have turned green again. Two of them suddenly are sprouting two new sprouts, as though in the act of me giving away the fourth one they are suddenly reproducing. It's as if these plants, know, those who gave them to me, are growing new roots of their own.

We are all connected and may we find our Source of Life from the One who created it, and Loves us and Calls us His own children.

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