Lifted by kindness

It’s a long, hot summer on Mallorca. Last Saturday it finally rained after many dry months. The usual three raindrops were this time more serious and clouds started to burst and thunder accompanied the dark skies. I love it when it’s like that after so many months of scorching heat. It is as if we all can breathe again. A release, a liberation. As clouds bursted and rain fell down heavily, we were just cycling. In the morning I received very sad news about my aunt. I only wanted to be home, cry and drink lots of tea. But I couldn’t. I had to go, and somehow cycling in this pouring rain, our clothes soaking wet, shoes as swimming pools was just what I needed (we brought some extra clothes with us).

We learned that heavily rainfall is often local on Mallorca, so when we cycled through the countryside half an hour from our village, the streets and roads were dry, no rain at all. We stopped in a town to have a cup of coffee and our clothes were almost dry again. When we arrived in Selva, a beautiful old village, the sun was burning full power. We were invited to a gathering of people from the island who are educators or otherwise involved with permaculture. I had promised to help in the kitchen, so I did. 

The house of the couple where the gathering took place is an old rustic home and finca. I just love it. In the garden they have raised beds with plants and vegetables. The couple is American and they are the spill of the permaculture community here on the island, living here for many years. Such sweet, warm and welcoming people. Especially in times when you see and read about so much sadness and problems in the world, we need such people. People who lift each other up, encourage and support each other. It was just what I needed. There was an abundance of food and the man of the couple had made a delicious vegan paella for 40 people — you can imagine how big the pan was!

This summer I have had a few problems with my bike. A flat tire, a broken bike chain. Both times I was positively surprised by people offering help. A group of cyclists wanted to help change my tire, but it was okay, I could do it myself. When I had to walk , because the tire was flat again (I thought, but in the end it was alright), I could get a lift from a super friendly couple. The bicycle could go in the back of their car if I wanted. Yet, I thanked them, positively surprised by their friendly gesture. I was almost home anyway. And more people like that on the way — mostly men I have to say 😉

Some weeks ago I wanted to go to the beach and had planned a long cycle. I was looking forward to it like a kid, totally excited, also because I was on my new racing bike. When I almost arrived the next town 10 km further, the bike chain broke. I felt to curse and be angry, but I just turned around and started to walk home in the scorching heat. With this summer heat, you always have to remain calm. To become agitated or angry, when you know it doesn’t make any difference, you must prevent at all times. So I did. Then a friendly black guy on a bicycle asked if he could help me, but when he saw the broken chain he apologised that he unfortunately couldn’t. No problem, it was all fine. I would go to the beach another time soon, and I kept on walking.

Those small gestures of kindness had lifted me up. Just like a sudden smile of a stranger on the streets can do that.  

Some visitors of the gathering last Saturday we have met before, good people who all do a tiny part to make the world a bit better. We won’t save the world, or Mallorca in this case, it’s too late for humanity to survive, but we can inspire each other, bring some positive change — no matter how small — and brighten up our lives which know the shadows of it too.

Con Amor,

Eva 

New Beginnings, Family Expansion, and Some Mental Gymnastics to Close the Week.

There is so much to write about lately and yet it has been a bit silent on my blog. So many blogposts and articles have been written in my head, not on paper or screen. Do you know that feeling that you want to do all these things you want to do, and then you end up doing none of them? That notion that time flies like a maniac?

I’m restless, but not in an agitated way.

Perhaps it doesn’t stress me out because life is better than last year. We have a home now, tomatoes are growing in the garden (and many more veggies!), we have organised four tiny home builds and sustainable living courses with the Green Gorillas, despite all the difficulties and endless changing Covid-19 regulations. 

Socialising

Somehow this is a season of New Beginnings, I just know it. I sense it when I cycle through the village and see people at terraces, cafes with joking waiters, doors of restaurants re-opened, people socialising. This time last year, there was sadness in the air; nobody around in the village streets. The sadness doesn’t paint the sky anymore, but there’s grief deeply hidden under those sunny skies. Not only in Algaida.

Today – with thanks to our neighbour – we have become official residents of Algaida, Mallorca, and we are on the waiting list to get our own mailbox further down the road! Yes, finally 🙂 — here on the countryside people don’t have mailboxes at their houses.

Door to pieces

Speaking of our home, there’s still a lot to do. Dorus is working on finishing Vanessa’s tiny home and have been some obstacles to face, he’s writing an e-book on the Sustainable Living course, and is helping the organic farmer with things on the land or his house. Before you know, another week is gone, without much done on our place. You see it already when you enter our land, a door which you can’t call a “door” is falling to pieces. In the meantime, temperatures are rising again, so some hours of the day you’d better take it easy, like the Mallorquins do. Anyway, it will be all right somehow. We aren’t in a rush really.

Birthday present

Our animal family has grown. Five chicks were born last week! One of the neighbours gave us a brooding chicken and her eggs three weeks ago. It was around my birthday. The mother hardly ate and sat in a trance in her nest the whole three weeks. She was sitting there and hardly moved. I never knew that this is the normal way for a broodding chicken. It was so moving to see her sitting on her eggs, with her little head down, drowsy. Three weeks later we saw little babies below her beautiful dark wings. Two were sadly lying dead in the nest. The five are incredible cute and I just love the mom. She is so funny and sassy. Yes, chickens have characters. How she protects her little family, it’s adorable. To save her little children from our cats and not causing stress for the mum, we have to keep them at the back of the land. I would love to have them closer later when they are bigger.

Some weeks ago, Luna our cat, found three baby rabbits in our garden (which appeared to be baby hares!). She too was overwhelmed by the sight of them. Normally she sees them as food (I know horrible! But just as horrible for the dead animals in the pet food)

Happy end

My my my, what a situation. A few days later when I noticed they were hardly drinking the goat milk I tried to give them, I was starting to feel kind of desperate. I didn’t want those sweeties to die. So what do you do? Ask Facebook! It sounds ridiculous, but it worked. I asked for advice in several groups on Facebook. The response I received in a group that helps animals on Mallorca was huge. Never I got so many comments and shares from something I posted. I even received private -, WhatsApp and voice messages. So much love from the people for these tiny animals, it was just heartwarming. A mother and daughter came to collect the little hares, as they knew how to take care of them. Besides all the tips, many other people offered their help, also considering the cats. I felt so relieved after I knew they are in good hands. Dorus and I were celebrating the happy end of this emotional event.

After that happened, I wondered: All those people who replied, they all wanted to help saving these baby hares and shared their knowledge with me. All those people in this group, who are helping mostly abandoned dogs and cats, are they also saving other animals — cows, chickens, pigs, sheep — or do they taste better than helping them?

I decided to put it to the test and just ask it in the group:

Let’s do a small enquiry.

The response wasn’t huge this time, which wasn’t really surprising. However, those who answered took it seriously and their answers were detailed. 

A woman said she stopped eating animal products completely, because she loves ALL animals, not only her cats and dogs.

Another woman commented she isn’t an animal rights activist, and because she isn’t, she says, she eats meat and fish and won’t change a single thing (she loves cats and dogs, and works in a shelter for cats).

A member answers in detail that to her it is important to have laws that prohibit the exploitation of animals, the abuse and painful deaths. People are free to choose if they want to eat animals or not,  and they should not be judged. She eats chicken and beef, and bacon, and some fish. Rabbit no, because it could be a pet, she says. One time she witnessed the slaughter of a goat, and since then she dislikes the taste of lamb and goat cheese in her mouth, so she stopped eating this.

“If you are so shocked to see an animal die, I recommend you to go to a slaughterhouse and see how the others die. There is no difference between that baby torn from its mother goat (lamb) and a baby torn from its mother pig (piglet) and a baby torn from its mother cow (calf),” somebody replied to her. 

One comment was from a lady, who said she went vegan as soon as she discovered (10 years ago) the monstrosities that are done to animals. 

And two final interesting comments:

“To me, the mental gymnastics involved in feeding, healing and caring for some animals and allowing others to live in overcrowded, deplorable conditions and then being transported to be killed to eat that favourite dish with x or y in it, is incomprehensible.”

“I eat chicken and pork, but only organic. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan. But it makes me sick if I think of how the animal was treated before being killed.”

Food for thought. It is.

Con Amor,

Eva 

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