Holiday began and I started to pack; I was going few days to the village, a place with less than one hundred inhabitants at the top of a mountain where, hopefully, you don’t have enough service to check your mail and your whatsapps.
In the suitcase I put my underwear, my Quicksilver pants, that dress I bought in NYC, some more clothes and much of the pride of a city person going to a village of farmers.
We arrived and we went straight to dinner in one of the fifty cousins and uncles houses we have here. Curious, because we started eating six on the table end ended more than twenty. They all came to greet the ‘city cousins’, and they were more than welcome to a table where it looked like that even without warning or a booking one week in advance, the food was enough for everybody.
We talked about many things; I told them about my trips to China, the importance of having a good profile on LinkedIn, the ‘engagement’ project in which I had been working lately… they looked at me like they were not understanding.
They told me about the harvest, the village festivities, and the calm of living in the mountain, about how they see their children grow up because they do not have day care, how they finish working mid afternoon exhausted and they all go to the village pub… I listened with an envy I could not understand.
Suddenly, one on the table says: ‘With all that you have studied and traveled, you sure know a lot! You see, I am just what I am, no more’.
I was speechless and I fould myself thinking about how many people I work with every day –including myself- are what they are or they are simply masks, images of what they want to appear to be.
And so we spent the rest of the time: walking along the river, visiting the reservoir, discovering corners of a town, eating a lot and talking even more. In such a small place there were so many things to do and to comment that I didn’t even notice that I had been one week without service. And so happy!
Now I am packing again, because tomorrow we go home.
I have already packed the NY dress, pants, underwear and so on; what I can not find anywhere is the pride, that pride that made me think that I knew more than them because I live in a big city.
Instead of pride, a little worm comes back with me; one that speaks softly to me and reminds me how much we still have to learn from the village cousins.