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First Swim

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No, it’s not really hot enough.  While my parka and long underwear are stowed under my bed, there are still plenty of days and especially nights where I want a fire.  But last Saturday, I went to the river with three dear friends: Melissa, my foundation colleague; Tito, her partner; and Liza, the new American volunteer.

Was it warm enough?  No.  The Río Palena is fed my melting snow, but I didn’t care.  As I dove in — after some of the longest, coldest months of my life — I thought, “Goodbye, winter.”  This is Patagonian spring.

And what did we bring to make the afternoon complete?  Mate.  While we remembered the teapot, a jug of water, and the yierba (tea leaves), we forgot the cup and bombilla (special straw for mate).  With a smile, Tito went off into the woods, and Melissa said, “This is the type of thing that makes me fall in love with him.  Out of nothing, he makes something.”  Sure enough, Tito used a beer can and bic pen from Liza’s backpack (fusing the rubber part and the poking holes) to make an extremely functional, impromptu mate.  Of course, earlier in the afternoon Tito had caught a fish, gutted it, and roasted it on a stick over a fire that Melissa had started with just matches and sticks.

Some days I’m too happy to be sad.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane Woodman permalink
    Wednesday, November 9, 2011 6:09 am

    What a beautiful post Margaret, and such wonderful pictures. It is almost too amazing to be fully known. But these moments will be known by the 4 of you forever, xo

  2. Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:42 am

    Thanks, Mom!

  3. sally johnson permalink
    Wednesday, November 9, 2011 2:47 pm

    Hello dear girl on vacation!
    You muy crazy gringa!! 🙂 but of course you swim in MAINE too. can’t wait to see you over the holidays back here.
    much love,

  4. Wednesday, November 9, 2011 3:07 pm

    I know, but I didn’t get to swim in Maine this year! But it’s true, I have good training in swimming in icy water.

    See you all soon at Christmas!

  5. Thursday, November 17, 2011 9:09 pm

    “Some days I’m just too happy to be sad.” <– Love this. So. Much.


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