Hannah is from Finland and came to Spain to attend culinary school. She's a chef but working at Ca'Melan as a bartender. She told me that she came to Spain and didn't know the language at all and was forced to learn very quickly in order to get through school. I greatly admire this as it takes a huge amount of courage to go to school not knowing the language...talk about putting oneself into a challenging situation. I hope to visit the resturant that I know Hannah will own someday.
It was a bit rainy today, quite different from the last four days of sunshine...I didn't really mind. I decided to go into another village called Covadonga which is about 12 km away...that's about 7.2 miles for my American friends. The bus ride took me up into the mountains even further than I already was.
The village of Covadonga is basically a really big church that dates back to the 1600's. I went into the church and just sat for almost an hour being quite overwhelmed by the vastness and dare I say it, the presence of a higher being. I must say that I became quite emotional and just sat and cried silently for the entire hour.
At first I wasn't sure why I was crying. I'm not very religious, although I do believe in "God" and the power that comes with a higher power. I think now that the tears were a much needed release of things that will not be and for the things that were. This is truly letting go, and I'm glad I was in such a place to come to this realization. Glad because I was in the middle of nowhere, by myself, not "fitting", and I was at peace.
How long this peace will last I'm not sure, but in that moment I told myself that I needed to remember this always...especially when I get back to Virginia.
I also cried for the life that is to come. I know that the life that is coming for me is to be the most wonderful yet. I guess I've always known this...as I get older my life only gets better and better...I just have to keep the faith that this in fact is TRUE. Am I a little scared? OK...I admit it...I am...but I can look fear in the face and walk right through it. This has always been my nature...this is what I have done time and again and I will continue to do so...bet YOU didn't know that back-story, did you?
Fear of what, you ask? Of being alone...of never being loved. For me this is the biggest obstacle I've always faced, what I've always run from or run to, which every way you choose to look at it. I guess it is time to let that go as well...or at least begin to let it go...because there's really nothing to be afraid of...I've been alone, and I haven't shriveled up and died, have I?
Even more, I realized to a greater degree in that church that it wasn't only me who didn't "fit"...it was BOTH of us who don't "fit" with each other...and that's ok...I grew by leaps and bounds during that year and someone else will benefit from that growth...what a lucky guy he will be! I think that in life we encounter people who are supposed to be there in order for us to grow and continue.
I think my visit to these mountains of Spain have been the most significant time of my journey so far. I've met some great people, but more importantly I've met a side of myself that I didn't think really existed. On my hike Sunday, Maribel, one of the women in the group I was in told me she thought I was, "valiente". This means "brave" in Spainish. I've been told this before, but never really considered myself brave. I see this now in myself...not to be conceited...but I realize that I've got some "balls". I may not always "fit", but I can be proud of who I am.
I walked back to Cagnas de Onis from Covadongo - the bus wasn't coming for another hour an a half - I became unbearably restless so I decided to walk the 12 km/7 miles back to town. I didn't cry on the walk...I felt so strong and alive and totally marvelled in the beauty of Northern Spain as I treked through tiny village after tiny village. I'm sure the locals were thinking, "Muy loca turista, cambina!" - "Crazy tourist walking!" OK...so I'm a bit crazy...whatever.....