It’s been a hectic end of April and start of May that only promises to get more and more busy.
For starters, Jon and I traveled last week to western and central Iowa, where we explored small towns that had seen an increase in their Latino population.
On Thursday I wrote and put up a gallery of Jon’s images about one such trip to Clarion, Iowa, where we met Ramiro Salgado and his wife Dora Carvallo. The couple owns one of the two Mexican stores in town-they stand across the street from each other-and opened a restaurant last year.
Meeting them was just one of the highlights of the trip, which also took us to West Liberty, the state’s first majority-Latino community.
We also drove to nearby Mt. Pleasant, where we went to church and were treated to a feast hosted by Oscar Argueta, a Morman and Republican from Guatemala who has, for the past twelve years, published a biweekly newspaper that caters to Latino residents in communities throughout Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.
That’s to say nothing of speaking at Agnes Consadori Losi’s memorial service, getting ready to pull the strands together on our Hunt project, and get ready to head down to New Orleans to get Aidan, travel to New York for our fundraiser, cover NATO and then fly to Germany, where Dad will be visiting his hometown for the first time in 73 years.
In short, I’m not lacking for things to do and, yesterday, had my first day off in two weeks.
At such times, and precisely because things have been so hectic, I feel even more appreciative than usual to have the space and time to knock off outstanding tasks.
Today was one of those days.
After a walk with Dunreith and a stop for a fresh Everything bagel at Bagel Art, our favorite mid-walk stop, I was able to catch up on some email, invite a bunch of people to the Dart fundraiser, talk with Dad about our upcoming trip, take a yoga class, have some tasty samples at Whole Foods, pay some bills, and spoke with Mike and Jon about the timing to celebrate Mom’s 75th birthday.
Meanwhile, Dunreith made some of the final reservations for our time in Germany.
Accomplishing each of those tasks not only relieved the psychic pressure I felt at tending to something that needed to be done, but gave me the pleasure of helping to shape my life in the direction and with the projects and grounded in the values that are most central to me.
Having a day away from the whirlwind of activity in which I am choosing to involve myself allows me to breathe, to more actively chart my life’s course and to savor its richness.
The space for reflection and deliberate living also lets me tie the various threads of my life that can seem disparate and disconnected and weave them into a single tapestry.
I am grateful.