I have been thinking about this topic all week. What to do? What do I like to touch? I used to like to make bread – touching bread dough as you knead out the loaves of bread is right up there at the top of my list…. working in the flower beds touching the soil is a close second, but what would these have to do with Nova Friburgo. Nothing.
Here, up here on the top of a hill; up here on top of the hill without a neighbor that speaks English; up here on top of the hill without a neighbor that speaks English what I like to touch is other peoples lives. Almost daily I go to the gym. I do the hug and the kiss cheeks twice in both greeting and when leaving. I speak as much Portuguese as possible to touch their lives, if only briefly, superficially. I try to touch the lives of those in this small group of people, this group that has become my only social outlet in Nova Friburgo.
One of these people is the young mother who keeps the gym clean. When I first met her she was pregnant and now her daughter is 4 years old. Every Christmas, every birthday and a few times in between, I have taken a small gift to her to take home to the little girl. Last week I was invited and found myself free to go to little Mirella’s fourth birthday party. Touching her life in a real way.
It is so unusual to be invited to a Brazilian's home. This home was simple and very clean. The party was as fancy as any I have ever been to – this single mother and probably most of the extended family, I am sure, contributed to give
this little girl her very best party ever. And they allowed me in – to touch their life, if only for a few hours, in a very meaningful way, the sharing of a childhood memory.
Mirella with her Mother
Happy mother’s day to you all and your Families