Saturday, July 11, 2009

To arms

Her high-pitched little voice sings out the Portuguese national anthem as we careen around curves up the Arribida mountain in Steubal. To the right are high steep walls of rock waiting to be used for the concrete factory, to the left is arguably one of the most beautiful bays in Portugal, quite possibly the world. The water is protected selfishly by the mountain we are currently climbing, it stretches out to the Atlantic Ocean, but the only sign of the larger body of water is a faint ripple that lazily moves the sea weed near the base of the mountain. 
As armas As armas! 
Sobre a terra, sobre o mar, 
Her little voice calls again, pulling me out from my daydreams. There has been a lot on my mind lately but Lucia always succeeds in stealing my attention. She is three years old and speaks only Portuguese. I speak English. Yet I am amazed at how much we actually communicate. We play hide and go seek, tag, and Princesses. She makes a mean sand castle and when she falls asleep in the car her little mouth hangs open showing off the irresistible gap between her two front teeth. 
Levantai hoje de novo
O esplendor de Portugal!
Entre as brumas da memoria...
Between the mists of memory... Lucia's defiant walk, the way she smiles right before she turns to run away from my chase, her fish face, the Minnie Mouse swimsuit that she decided to take off ten minutes after getting to the beach, her squeal of happiness when Pai comes home, the headstrong decisions, all of these convince me that the decisions I am fighting with are going to be okay. 
Que ha-de guiar-te a vitoria!
...That shall lead you to victory... Her voice convinces me to fight for happiness and peace of mind, for security and strength and for what I want. Currently I have no clue what I want, but I feel secure in that. 

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