The Palermo Woods saved me yesterday.
I had finally crumbled within the grasp of Argentina’s strong, clenching fist. It took me thirteen days to swallow my first sip of culture shock, and when I did I was as stunned as a new mother who spent nine months planning for an Andrew, but birthed an Andrea.
Well maybe not that stunned, but in my effort to relay the severity of my shock, that analogy was the best of the three options I had. Truth be told, George and Dina raised no fool for a daughter, nor a wimp – and I did what I had to do to stay productive, busy, and invested in this gloriously large city. I charged my little green shuffle (pea sized, but it’s whereabouts are still accounted for!), laced up my sneaks and ran from Gloria’s flat a good three miles to the Palermo Woods, where rumor had it that gold falls from the open heavens and the blind travel near and far to be granted the gift of vision.
Okay, also an exaggeration. But, in all honestly I kept hearing the most pleasant stories about the park, and I needed to check it out for myself. When I got there, I was just one of hundreds of joggers, bikers, walkers, skateboarders and most notably rollerbladers… I couldn’t hide my smile. Suddenly every ounce of negative energy evaporated from my cold running sweat and every step I took reigned with vigor and purpose. I made it to the lake with twenty minutes until sunset. Sitting amid couples, stretching runners, and overly excitable children tossing breadcrumbs at swans and geese, I watched the sun turn the Argentine sky into the most surreal shade of sherbet. The lake began to shake as the wind began to tango over its surface, and every tree suddenly lost its green tint and became nothing more than a black silhouette of a marionette. I will never forget the feeling I had in the Palermo Woods while these James Yuill lyrics were whispering in my ear:
Be the greatest man in history.
the greatest man that you can be
I was cured, revitalized, and felt more alive than I’ve felt in all my time living. Something about natural serenity. It is my one and only antidote.
I hope that this post is por lo menos slightly relatable. In fact, I hope it inspires you to run away from your darkness and find refuge in a segment of a song, and the striking beauty all around you. Bosque Besos.