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Where does the time go. I say that with such ease but there was a lot of work in filling that time. Along with that work was a tremendous amount of pain, or as some say, blood sweat and tears. How time flies when you are having fun. No time like the present. There are many clichés about how “time” evaporates.

I have now been here in Portugal for a month. Now all I want to do is figure out how to stop time. This little town of Tomar in some ways has been stopped in time. Old castle walls, aqueducts that go on for miles. Not stuck in time is the kindness the people here share. More and more they are welcoming me into their community. I had a chance encounter with some people I was introduced to on my daily walk around the Mata. The people I have regular contact with, the grocery cashier, the bank teller,the waitress at the cafe all smile and welcome me. I know they are paid to be kind, but there are people not paid to be nice. Like me. Well I am not paid in the monetary way and over paid in the grace way.

So they have a ritual that the young people partake in here every year. It looked like a giant water balloon fight held in the middle of town. Kids on home-made parade floats are pulled by tractor tossing water balloons at their peers. Fortunately for all those involved the weather cooperated. It was fun to watch and not get wet!

There was another ritual I unknowing participated in here. The country’s Independence Day recently passed. For that event it is customary to shoot off a cannon gun for each year since the revolution, all 40. Well that scared me wide awake as I thought someone was taking a sledge-hammer to the place. When I opened the window to see who was the culprit, I heard the cannon noise continuing. Relieved that this 13 century building was not being bulldozed, I did not go back to sleep.

These are the little things that fill time. So blessed am I to be able to be a mindful observer. I am spreading my wings and going to see what Barcelona is all about. All part of the vision I set for myself when the year began. There is value in my time and it is priceless. All of which I have learned living one day at a time.image