A new day is unfolding; an opportunity to embark on a new program or renew our commitment to one already begun. Take advantage of the universal holiday mood and bestow the gift of kindness to yourself.
The past several weeks have found me very busy with the details connected to the Holiday Parade which took place last night. Although there are many things that can be coordinated in advance, there are always unexpected emergencies that must be dealt with as they happen so that the rest of the schedule can be adhered to. I went to sleep extremely tired but elated with the successful way my teammates and I were able to resolve the issues that came up for our group. After years of working together, we have acquired the indispensable cohesion that allows us to continue to participate in these important activities successfully.
The theme for this year’s Festival was water and its importance to our daily life. The structure that our colleague designed was a watermill driving the mechanical processing of sugar cane for juice. In addition, he had the clever idea of processing the cane a few hours in advance so we could offer small samples as our float made its way through the street of Atenas. The old-fashioned way to process sugar cane, of course, is with a team of oxen, and when I accepted the request to help ‘tie the juice bags’, I had no idea what I was signing up for!
When I arrived at the designated ‘mill’, I heard a man speaking sharply. I thought he was talking to a rebellious worker about to get fired because I heard: “I have had an extremely difficult day. You know what’s expected of you. You know the work that we need to do today. You know I won’t tolerate your outbursts.” When I realized it was to one of the oxen, my heart melted. In that exact moment, I understood really for the first time the kind of bond that takes place in this tradition we call ‘boyeo’. To witness that was a particularly moving experience for me. As we tossed into the crowd the hundreds of juice bags pressed and packaged earlier (with the utmost care and hygiene) I was reminded that there are some old-fashioned traditions that are worth preserving. Don’t you agree?
Have a wonderful day, and a terrific week, Marietta