My husband, Peter, and I are spending a month in Spain and we have left our worries behind. As a result, we have had to come up with new, temporary worries to occupy us until we get back home.
Peter ran out of lotion and for several days used something he found in the house which turned out to be soap. (“I wondered why it wasn’t soaking in” Peter said.) He doesn’t like my lotion (“axle grease” Peter complains) so he ventured out yesterday to buy some more. He came home with some lotion in a metal tin and immediately began worrying if this container would travel well.
“I don’t want grease leaking all over my luggage” Peter worried.
In the absence of a real grocery store, we worry if we will be able to find olives we like and, once we find them, if we will ever find them again. We feed the cats on the roof every day, then worry how they will survive after we are gone. (But then we remember they were not overly slim when we arrived.)
Earlier this week we hiked to a neighboring town, spent the night, and returned. The hike was wonderful, crossing through mountains and fording a stream. We had dinner in the square with two ladies in their sixties—an Englishwoman who had come to live in this remote town several years earlier and a Dane, who was on her way to explore Argentina. Hiking home the following day, I thought (as I always do while traveling) of the endless variety of ways there are to live.
It was nice to get back in our funny little house, but I worried we were running out of time. Peter made soup, as he does. “This will be my last batch this trip” Peter announced.
I will miss this little house more than Peter will. The doors are very low, and the stairs are very steep, so Peter walks around the house slightly stooped and carries a hiking pole up and down the stairs, as if he is herding sheep to and from the upstairs bathroom. I try not to laugh, but sometimes I fail.
Yesterday I hiked to the top of a hill that overlooks the town. There used to be a Moorish castle on the top hundreds of years ago. The view is amazing. I looked down on the white houses and the Mediterranean in the distance and thought of all the people who had been exactly where I was, looking at that view.
Sometimes they were worried, I imagined, looking for invaders, or bad weather, or some other trouble coming by sea. But most of the time I imagine they sat where I did for the same reason, to wonder how long they would get to look at something so glorious, to wonder why they spent so much time worrying.
When I got home, Peter read about a ship that was having mechanical troubles in the Mediterranean. Once they finish cruising the Mediterranean for the season, the bigger ships cross the ocean to spend the winter in the Caribbean. Peter reads these articles because we are taking one of those ships home.
It turns out, the ship in trouble was ours.
“Someone said they heard an explosion and reported a fire in the engine room” Peter exclaimed, reading the article (which was not from a major news source and seemed a little short on facts).
“Goodness” I said.
I guess, since we need something to worry about, this is as good a worry as any.