Take a lesson from Ferris…

As the great 80’s philosopher, Ferris Bueller, once said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  Who knew those words would still ring in my mind 20+ years after first watching this wonderful 80’s teen comedy (and subsequently getting in trouble since we told the baby sitter we were allowed even though there was some cursing.  We weren’t.  We were 8).  I have never considered myself very fast.  I have short legs and I just wasn’t built for speed.  When I walk, I usually wander or mosey if you will.  I feel pretty laid back and I’m not usually early for things.  I’ll get there on time or 5 minutes late.   But then I came to Spain.  Here I practically run people over in the streets: little Spanish Grandmas, tiny children, the millions of prams and strollers, dogs wandering obediently behind their owners (you get the picture).  Every time I go to a store, office building, the bank, the bakery; there are lines.  Not small lines that take 5 minutes to get through but I’m talking lines that take 15-20 minutes sometime (the electric office took over any hour) that people seemed content or at least resigned to the fact that they will just wait their turn.  Since it is a small city everyone seems to know each other which can make the lines go even slower.

Until I started traveling, I never realized how ingrained the American hustle and bustle was.  I know the North East is not known for its slow pace but unless you actually live in NYC, the pace doesn’t seem that extreme.  Here not many people ever seem to be in a hurry.  One of my teachers told me that if you go to the surrounding villages that no one is in a hurry.  EVER! They don’t even know what that means.  Its a good reminder to me that I need to slow down and enjoy the moment.  I spend so much time thinking or worrying about all the other things I need to get done or places I need to get to that I’m completely unfocused on what I am actually doing or who I’m currently talking with.  That is not enjoying someones company.

Here is just one example:  Yesterday, my friend Wendy (who had just walked in from the Camino) and I got to hangout with one of the ladies she had met while walking.  We went with her to pick up her backpack, she showed us the room she was staying in (it was in Seminario Mayor, which is a fabulously old building/monastery/hostel, went with her as she received her compostela and then went out to lunch.  We were going to be skyping in with our house church at 4 pm but it was only 3.  Plenty of time.  Well during our lunch my brain kept wanting to check the time and make sure we weren’t going to be late.  ( Most of my schedule does not revolve around any sort of time frame here so when I have set times I tend to focus on them even more).  I had finally just remind myself that I needed to relax, enjoying the company and make the most of the moment I was in.  I mean this is why I am here.  To meet with pilgrims and talk about their journey.  If we were late for our skype date it wasn’t the end of the world.  I don’t want my time here in Spain to just pass me by in a series of schedules and time frames.  I have been so fortunate to meet so many wonderfully interesting people so far and most of it was unplanned and unscheduled (see pics below).  So as I continue to figure out life here in Spain, I hope I can adapt a more flexible, slower pace and live in the moment.  I think that is when God can really work.  We just need to get out of his way and out of our own heads.

Kate and Mardi, two lovely ladies I had the pleasure to get to know while at language school

My first dinner party with three pilgrims! (One being my friend Wendy who is currently my roommate)

Gunther (or Gunty) my housemate at Marie Carmen’s was back in town working with German pilgrims

Taking time out to enjoy the beach

A Spanish inspired feast

Anne from Ireland, one of my first friends from language school

a peregrina from Souderton, PA who happens to know my uncle and a guy who works with my mom. Small world! (we were with a group.  That is not all for us 🙂  )

a protest against the cutbacks, I believe. There is an election in Galicia sometime this month

The protest was in my square which made for an interesting morning

2 Responses to “Take a lesson from Ferris…”
  1. Anne says:

    Great pictures Gale! You are such a social butterfly! It is awesome to see you connecting with so many people. Keep up the good work!

  2. Renee says:

    How exciting to have Wendy for a roommate for a while!! 🙂 How’s she doing in Spanish?

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