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 

Kindness.

Sometimes you just need that feeling of support from those around you and those who believe in you. That what you do, makes sense. That what you do, is appreciated. 

Last Monday I couldn’t travel to France as I felt ill. Headache, raw throat, feeling cold, having my period and feeling incredibly tired. I decided to postpone my journey. As I try to travel sustainably it will take at least 24 hours before I arrive in Perigueux, instead of a couple of hours by plane and train, so better feel healthy on the way, also with this Coronavirus still heavily present everywhere. 

I slept a lot these past days and started to feel better. Luckily it didn’t take long, it’s quite shitty to feel unwell when you’re all by yourself. Yesterday I logged in on Facebook and saw a private message from one of the editors of Elephant Journal that just made my day and somehow I needed these words of support. She wrote me that my Eating Animals article was very close to her heart and that she had shared it widely with others and asked her colleague editors to comment as well. She really pushed my article these last days.

Those who are familiar with writing for Elephant Journal know that you need to have many reads, comments and hearts, before you can earn some cash with it. Although I don’t write with money and scores in my mind, it can be a kind of recognition for my work and ofcourse that is very welcome. I have to say I don’t like it at all to ask friends and family to read my articles and to help me raise the score. I share my articles on social media and always ask for the hearts, comments, shares, if the reader feels inspired, but usually it’s only just a few people who really take the time to do that. The thing is my articles are not about astrology or love, but mainly about uncomfortable things, such as the eating animals article and that certainly isn’t the first thing people like to read.

But when I opened the article again, I received over more than 20 comments – that never happened before. Thanks to this amazing editor, who believes in this piece and that means the world to me (as it is also very close to my heart). Thank you for your kindness and support Sukriti Chopra.  

When was the last time you were surprised by somebody’s kindness and support? Write it in the comments and tell that person! 💚

Con Amor,

Eva

Hippie watching in a plastic-soup of cigarette-ends

This past week I wrote a readers-column for a Dutch newspaper called METRO. It’s a newspaper you can get for free at each trainstation across the Netherlands. I used to be a fan and loved to read it while I travelled to work each day. Something is bothering me lately and tada! this column was born. The thing is when it has enough votes the column will be published in METRO. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I decided to translate and share it on the blog as well. It has been a while since I have posted something new here anyway!

Here it is:

 

Hippie watching in a plastic-soup of cigarette-ends

I’m a happy foreigner living on the Spanish island Ibiza. For three hot summers I have seen a huge stream of tourists arriving on the popular island. It seems you only have to flip through a Dutch magazine and your eyes are being caught by the many articles written about the brand “Ibiza”. Not to mention the many Ibiza fairs – in the Netherlands! – and the newly opened club of the Dutch/Ibicencan TV-host, Yolanthe Cabau, and Dutch soccer player, Wesley Sneijder, on the beach of Cala Tarida. Of course, I definitely understand why this island appeals to many tourists. Who doesn’t love relaxing and dancing in the Spanish sun, where it smells like rosemary and the sea water is crystal blue?

“We’re going to watch hippies today, don’t we mommy?”, I heard a Dutch girl on the beach saying to her mother. I wanted to whisper in her ear that all hippies have retreated to their caves this summer, but I didn’t want to disappoint this cute little girl, so I kept my mouth shut. Sure, colorful people reside on Ibiza. They are modern hippies with sun-kissed bodies decorated with ink and their hair in dreads, but I’d rather discuss something else here.

I want to get something off my chest. Perhaps you might feel it coming. One of the most important sources of income on Ibiza is tourism. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s becoming too nasty to see how much damage tourism causes to Ibiza’s beautiful nature. Especially the empty plastic bottles that litter the beaches after a sweltering summer day. An entering wave, the sea drags the plastic in and the seawater gets polluted. That’s not all of it. The beach is being used as a huge ashtray where thousands of cigarette-ends disappear. Or what about straws?! The rippling sea water seems to welcome it all. The animals that live here don’t survive in this plastic soup. One and only cause of this disaster: the indifference of humans.

A few nights ago I was strolling on the beach to cool off and I saw a young woman smoking and when she finished, she threw her cigarette into the sea. Just like that. The sea as a major dumpsite of dirt. It sure looked as deep contempt to me. I was stunned, not a single word passed my lips. I just couldn’t believe what I just witnessed. And again I kept my mouth shut. Damn, I thought. Just open your big mouth, Eva! And believe me, I will. Please respect and cherish the sea when you visit her, on Ibiza or wherever. The sea houses both life and death. Do you really think plastic and cigarette-ends should belong here?

 

If you like my column, please give it a vote via this link:

https://www.metronieuws.nl/lezerscolumn/eva-de-vor/mens-maatschappij/2017/08/hippies-kijken-in-een-plastic-peuken-soep

The more votes, the bigger the chance to have it published.

How to vote?

  1. Click on button “STEM” (= “VOTE”) in the column. Unfortunately the button won’t be displayed on mobile phones, you need your computer or iPad.
  2. You immediately see “log in” and you can do so with your Facebook-account, LinkedIn or Google + (or you can create a METRO-account) and VOTE.

 

Many thanks for your support!!!

 

Schermafbeelding 2017-08-27 om 00.22.58

 

“Plastic is usually made of a combination of petroleum-derived products and other chemicals and is a man-made artificial element unknown to nature. The enzymes and micro organisms responsible for breaking down organic materials don’t recognize it. Plastic breaks down in ocean water but do not degrade entirely. Instead, they disperse throughout the water column and attract other oily toxic materials, while breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces. Plankton, the smallest creature in the food web, ingest the smallest of these plastic particles, and are then eaten by fish and carried up the food chain to humans.”  Text and photos: Oceanic Global

 

Con Amor,

 

Eva

 

 

* The column was published in METRO the 29th of August! Thank you for voting!

 

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