Today from Spain!

While sitting literally on the outside of my windowsill in a makeshift version of a balcony, I used to go write in cafes in the sun but now I’m confined to this small spot. The foal at the bottom of my street is going through halter breaking and he/she is not liking it. It’s balmy out now and warm with breeze.

Better than T.V.

There’s a little white cat that sneaks up the street everyday. I’ve seen him napping in the neighbors’ yard. I’d go introduce myself to the horse trainers but there are children with parents and that plus social distancing would not be okay. It is nice though just to sit ‘outside’ and hear nature. I don’t know how I would handle this if I were in Madrid capital.

In Cercedilla, I’ve really seen the community come together. Yesterday an older couple brought a wrapped gift to a kid that lives next door and the street sang happy birthday through the window. It’s nice to see but it also breaks my heart.

I moved here for the small-town community that I was just starting to integrate into, the beautiful nature, the tranquility, poolside days and no-heat nights.

Unlike what I see in the U.S., or even with restaurants in Italy, who have maintained delivery and curbside service, here everything is completely shut down. In the Sierra, the people depend on seasonal (local) tourism and that season would be starting right now. People from Madrid wanting to cool off in the mountains and sports enthusiasts would be making the bars’ terrace space a hot commodity. But now, when I venture out for my groceries, it feels like a ghost town.

COVID-19 Grocery Line, 5/4/2020

Unlike in Madrid, where businesses are beginning to open up – here’s an article by Daniel Welsch that lists some people who are mobilizing again – even if businesses here opened, there would be nobody to frequent them.

This is one of the areas of Madrid that has been hardest hit by the virus and people are scared to go out. Everyone wears masks. And peoples’ loved ones have been passing away. In such a small community, where everyone knows each other, that hits hard. How will these towns come back from this? I am worried for these precious places. I encourage everyone when this is over to visit the Sierra de Guadarrama because although I’m a beach person, from the time I first set foot here (x years ago!!) I know I would be back to stay.

On the bright side, we got to enjoy the terraces in the winter due to the weirdest weather ever. For the first time I was more tan in February than in May. I hope the bars and small shops were able to save a little then.

I don’t really have a cute sign off here. I’m glad kids can go outside. I wish I could run at a normal hour. The government is debating whether to prolong the emergency still. I’m a better cook than I’ve ever been and have been writing again so that’s positive. How are you coping?

Reporting from Spain

Reporting from Spain

What else to do now but write, right?

I am sitting in my apartment in Cercedilla, Madrid, Spain. It’s snowing outside and the kids upstairs must know I work in this space because it seems like they stomp over me on purpose.

NPR is discussing Contagion. I haven’t seen it yet, but I will have to watch now.

Boyfriend is at work. He is a landscaper, and here in Spain, that is an essential job at the moment. The way the government has handled this situation here has been absolutely crazy. I can’t ride in the car with another person, but we can all go to the supermarket at the same time. The fried chicken joint up the street is still open. Everyone is wearing gloves and masks, and the way people look at each other is truly devastating.

Cercedilla Today

I’m currently working on two exciting projects: one CV inspired, the other just a blessing at a difficult time. The main project is Epikus. This is a company dedicated to helping people understand the psychology behind how we react to situations, and how we can master ourselves to control those reactions.

I’m really interested in the program because it resonates with me, especially given my history and all of the psychological tools I’ve been able to take advantage of due to the best available in healthcare. I think a lot of people could gain tons by spending three days in a Delta Plus leadership workshop.

The second project is through a collaboration with Matt Bleakley. We want to provide a space that is CV-19 free. The idea is to provide entertainment, practical tips, and remote working strategies. If you’re interested in participating by providing a video, definitely get in touch.

Another bright spot is I’ve been honing my cooking skills. Yesterday I made Naleśniki for the first time. They actually turned out pretty well, and it’s good to know that with just flour, eggs, and milk, you can eat amazing pancakes!

Who do you consider essential? How are you coping? Did you watch the Tiger King? Reach out and help me stay sane! I wish everyone the best.

They tasted better than they look!

They were good I swear.

This is a poem by Cameron Bellim that my Aunt Ellie posted on Facebook today that brought some tears to my eyes. Remember how lucky you are. And if you’re not, reach out. Maybe I can help.

May we who are merely inconvenienced
remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our world,
let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of the great spirit for all our neighbors.

Que nosotros, que simplemente enfrentamos inconvenientes,
recordemos a aquellos cuyas vidas están en riesgo.
Que nosotros, que no enfrentamos factores de riesgo,
recordemos a los más vulnerables.
Que nosotros, que nos damos el lujo de trabajar desde nuestra casa,recordemos a aquellos que tienen que elegir entre preservar su salud y pagar la renta.
Que nosotros, que tenemos la flexibilidad de cuidar
a nuestros hijos cuando sus escuelas cierran,
recordemos a aquellos que no tienen opciones.
Que nosotros, que tenemos que cancelar nuestros viajes,
recordemos a aquellos que no tienen un lugar seguro a donde ir.
Que nosotros, que estamos perdiendo nuestro dinero marginal
en el tumulto del mercado económico,
recordemos a aquellos que no cuentan con ningún margen.
Que nosotros, que tenemos que quedarnos en casa en una cuarentena,
recordemos a quienes no tienen una casa donde ir.
Cuando el miedo hace presa de nuestro país,elijamos el amor.
En estos tiempos, cuando no podemos abrazarnos físicamente,
encontremos formas de ser el abrazo amoroso
de Dios para nuestros semejantes.

Read this for some strength.