01 April 2011

Harden by Softening

Walking to school this morning, I realized that the mud in the unpaved street of Puerto Natales is the exact same color as my coffee. Or rather that my coffee is the same color as the mud in the streets. Delicious, delicious mud coffee.

Every day in Puerto Natales, I walk down to the shore and along the waterfront. Every day is different, with a constantly changing view and shifting clouds above. One second there is strong sunlight...the next the wind picks up and blasts against my jacket. In the last few days, the mountains around town have pulled up their blankets of snow for the winter. The mountains are snow-capped now, and I am just waiting for a clear day to allow me a glimpse of them in their full splendor.

It is starting to be cold, but I am happy. This weather makes me feel at home, and it feels good to live in a place that toughens a person while softening them. What do I mean by that?

The weather, certain aspects of school, some experiences with people in town, and the landscape here in Patagonia are slowly polishing and scrubbing me until I am stronger. At the same time, most people are so friendly, my students are the sweetest, and the warmth of wood fires serve to soft my heart and warm it up. Stronger and weaker...toughen and softer simultaneously.

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