As I was attempting to eavesdrop on a conversation between two ladies on a long bus ride a few weekends back (They were talking rather loudly, and I didn’t understand enough of it to warrant any shame, anyway. ), I started thinking about the rhythm of the Spanish language. English keeps to a fairly regular iambic pentameter (thank you, Shakespeare), but Spanish can somehow roll on and on. I listened for awhile, and pinned the rhythm as something like repeating triplets — a Spanish 6/8 rather than an English 4/4. Spanish is a beautiful language to listen to, and I think rhythm plays an important role.

The rhythm of life here in Spain has been quite an adjustment. I came wanting and expecting a change in pace. That change has gone beyond my to-do lists and appointment book. The change in rhythm has had more of an effect on me. It’s easy enough to change my pace — to fall into step with someone walking faster or slower, to fill up my schedule with rest and relaxation, to be intentional with fewer people — but to step back, regroup, and attempt to join in a different rhythm of speech, time, priorities, and relationship is something entirely different. It’s as though I’m a metronome being adjusted for an entirely new piece. Even a couple months into this thing I still wouldn’t say I’ve wholly adjusted, and doubt whether I ever could. However, I am thriving in the attempt to change my inner rhythm and still laugh at failures. When I was first trying to jump into the rhythm of the language, I had a conversation with a man at a sports complex near our apartment. My initial thought was that I just needed to speak as quickly as my Southern tongue would allow. He laughed and stopped me, saying, “Slow down, slow down. You’re not in a hurry.” Turns out that was great advice beyond rolling my Rs. I’m not sure why I felt the need to rush the transition into the Spanish rhythm. It’s a process, and half the fun is confronting new ways of thinking and new patterns of life with my trite ol’ paradigms. One of my favorite things about life is transforming my thinking and the subsequent growth from such a change. All that remains now is to keep absorbing change until I find that the new rhythm is as natural as the old.


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