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.